This other voice now lingers
Closer to its counterpoint in heart,
And the two seem even stronger in
Memory's deepwater venue.
As I stand beneath the long-dead
Snag that harbors generations
Of chatty woodpeckers and jays,
I hear no laughter, no quarrels,
Only the faintest chittering.
But the sea breeze carries
Today, as always in fogs,
The polyphonic hills
Echoing Mission bells
As roses nod assent
Beyond the vines and
Roots that feed us,
As she did so many.
The waters into which she cast
Infinite gratitudes and sorrows
(Endless salvatory loaves of
Sweetest not-quite-leavened wholeness)
Mirror in their rippling descant
The heavens held to momentary earth;
Sighing tides and quieted spume remain,
And I will listen closely today
For the magical song being woven
Far beyond what any tears can ken.
- David W. Mitchell