Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Some of my father’s cremated ashes, spread in June 2013 along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.
Great big flakes like white ashes
at nightfall descending
in this hand like the host
on somebody’s put-out tongue, she
turns the crucifix over
to me, still warm
from her touch two years later
and thank you,
I say all alone —
Vast whisp-whisp of wingbeats
awakens me and I look up
at a minute-long string o f black geese
following low past the moon the white
course of the snow-covered river and
by the way thank You for
keeping Your face hidden, I
can hardly bear the beauty of this world.
— Franz Wright, “Cloudless Snowfall,” The New Yorker (2001)
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