It has come to this at last –
grey ashes on the rising waters swirl.
This the sole remaining task
we can perform for that once lissome girl
who splashed and laughed along this shelving bay.
From the silver urn more ashes fall,
spare words murmur on our troubled lips,
patterns form, re-form, beyond recall
as a relentless tide tugs, scatters, slips
the last we held to silently away.
In younger years, in a small boat built for her,
proudly at helm, sails at full,
she rode rough waters to this jutting pier.
Now the sea reclaims her, all inseparable,
dissolving in salt sea’s restless sway.
Our small tribe of survivors moves toward the shore
scattering gathered flowers on the way;
feet plod the weathered wood, worn smooth before
our time, when other sailors’ boats at mooring lay
about this desolate pier, black, gaunt, at end of day.