Like a spot of blood against the blue sky,
a Cardinal perches on the shepherd’s hook
where I hang suet and a cylinder of seed-feeders
I gave Sylvia for her last Mother’s Day.
The birds are a gift to me now. Her beautiful
ashes fill a marble blue urn and rest
near one of her crazy quilts in the foyer to welcome visitors.
Buddha is there on a table and guards her keepsakes,
a cleaned-out bookshelf holds her high school portrait,
a cross-stitch she made for me. Every little corner
has its memory of how short a sweet life can be.
— Marty Silverthorne
From Collected Poems of Marty Silverthorne