First published in Presence #70, July 2021, pages 100–101. Originally written in February of 2014 for my dad, who died on 26 January 2014 at the age of 85. See also “Into a Roiling Sea.”

ashes to ashes—

the grey of dad’s drawing

from his childhood

snow on the hills—

the drive to the service

seems so long

cloudy but no rain . . .

I need another metaphor

for dad’s burial

discussing the weather . . .


on my funeral program

open to freezing rain

the roses

on the casket

a cappella hymn—

a few snowflakes fall

into dad’s grave

memorial service—

mother has decided

to stop dyeing her hair

slow eulogy—

my wife slips me

another tissue

the burial service

runs a little long—

cracking sky

hands clasped—

a snowflake melts

on the wooden casket

funeral’s end—

my reflection missing

in the frozen puddle