St. Francis River
Sheets of silver snow in the rearview mirror.
I leave loved ones behind,
knowing future loss will bring us back
to that same cemetery.
I stop beside a black river
and stand in the icy slush.
Willow trees rest on either side of me.
Their frosty boughs sway back and forth.
They reach out to touch
the frozen surface,
like the swarm of strangers
who walked by, single file,
softly setting their hands on my arm,
speaking kind words
about a woman they barely knew.