“To the Living”

The trees flap wildly in the wind,
flailing arms and legs of limbs.
Leaves form frightened faces,
howling madly to be stilled.

Grasp the tree limbs in your hands,
clasp the leaves close to your chest,
suppress the noise by act of faith,
but you’ll never stop the wind.

They told us second hour on Thursday
how she’d hung herself with a belt
in the narrow, dim closet.
Her athletic body limp with death,
afraid to hear the wind.

Never from eight to four
has the silence rattled so
around this brick and marble tomb.
Long, silent, sobbing faces
ask sadly how to fight the wind.

And so I tell them.

You cannot fight the wind,
my children.
Neither faith nor force
can much alter its course.
You can only stand strong,
let it whirl madly about you,
over you, under you,
maybe even through you,
but do not be swept away,
my children.
Do not be swept away.