by Madeleine French

a small lantern from her daddy
shines on a fresh mound of dirt
i hate to think she’s alone, on that knoll
in this cold october wind

i’m a suffix here: the in-law
they care for me, of course, but
these are my husband’s people
this is their land

still, the peace of these peridot hills
glowing in the sun has curled up
in my lap, like a friendly kitten
and now purrs softly against my thigh

across fifty years, i touched them
carol’s cold hand, and my abuela’s
as if i could tuck my love
into their fingers for the long journey

grief will have its winter
and spring will
scatter seeds of solace with
the grass carpeting her grave

high on that hill—today’s
russet leaves become new buds
celadon on bare gray limbs
reaching for a sapphire sky

Image by Yakup Polat via Pexels