|And This Remains
I heard your mother found you
in your bed as if asleep,
your affairs all tidy, neat.
The glass sat in the sink, clothing
folded at your feet.
And this remains
your mother’s final memory of you,
one she has to keep.
You waited until spring,
thought the timing would be right
and planned it just as carefully
as how you threaded skis through
tight white-mantled trees.
Why antifreeze, I wonder?
Wouldn’t sleeping pills suffice?
As your gut disintegrated,
did you think it might keep ice from
forming in your soul,
a man who so loved winter, only snow
could keep him whole?
I have to think I’m lucky;
my last memory of you
is a swirl of snow in vortex
behind a disappearing back,
sweeping, swift down Cowboy Mountain
in the trail of your deep tracks.
Cynthia Neely was a professional textile artist and teacher before turning to pastels and poetry. She grew up in the Great Lakes region of Canada, then in the mountains of Pennsylvania and New England before making her home in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. The natural world has always been a primary subject in her work.
© 2006 Cynthia Neely