26 February 2009

Funeral for Yesterday

                     by alyssa reeves

        We gathered in the garden where the morning glories popped their blameless faces into the early sun – blanched white, streaked with tears of blue.
        When the people stopped looking at their shoes and digging trenches in the grass with their toes, I picked up my guitar and began to sing.

              We’ll dress in black and hail the rain,
              and when it falls, we’ll mourn and pray.
              Time shows no mercy to those who wait.
              A funeral for yesterday.

        The people here are sheep, a congregation of uncomfortable nervousness. Their big eyes are watching for something they do not know. Each one’s instinct suggests that all is lost. They bleat, unaware of what exactly for.
I cry for them. Then I hold tight to my guitar and sing.

              Here is the spot we will surround
              as daylight fades into the ground.
              Our candles light the solemn shroud.
              A funeral for yesterday.

        Four years ago I stood in this very place. It was different then. I knew nothing of the dulling ache when seconds, minutes made things change. The manmade pond held its breath when it slept. I might have mistaken it for fresh plot of fertile earth. The stars were loyal companions for a time.
        My cell phone interrupted the scene, a single beep. The soft glow of the screen attracted a solitary moth that tapped, tapped, tapped into the firm surface. It would never learn. I swatted it away and read the text that told me of her end. After that night, I picked up the guitar and sang.

              What’s gone is gone and we’ll survive.
              This gathering’s for those alive.
              We leave it there and go inside.
              A funeral for yesterday.

        We gathered in the garden where the flowers did not grieve. Here the people missed the past and dwelled, determined to pull a lesson from the forgotten and futile incidents of their grade school years. In vain. They all looked up when I paused the melody. I slowly sipped the water from my cup and thought on what had still remained.
        I cannot play guitar at all. My fingers fear the nylon string; but without it I’d feel too alone. So I just hold it here and sing.

              The dawn’s a shaky lullaby
              that no strong will can yet defy.
              We’ll make amends to the infant sky.
              A funeral for yesterday.


Stoneslinger said...

My goodness, Alyssa, that was beautiful. I was praying for you today. Peace, sister.

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