We went to the site together, you and I—

I drove you there to inspect the stone, newly placed.

The summer sun was bright, your grassy spot speckled with shade.

You stood six feet back, shoes planted near their final resting place.

Six feet of summer green and creeping shadows.

 

 

We went to the site together, he and I—

From out of state I rode along, newly bereaved.

The April sun was bright, your grassy spot cluttered

by twin peaks of dirt and an orange cone rising from a plywood earth.

Six feet of gaping darkness marked with warning.

 

 

A rose bouquet.

A single spray.

A full casket, an empty room.

The crowd that was not there.

The mourners’ skeleton slung across the pews, joints stretched to breaking.

Six empty feet full of grief.

 

 

We went to the site together, he and I—

I wanted to see, needed to see.

The sun shining on your grassy hill, broken by a new mound of dirt—

the orange cone gone and with it the danger.

Six feet of finality in its place.

 

 

We went to the site together, he and I—

I thought to check the stone, newly engraved.

The summer sun had dried the sod, a browning patch on your grassy hill.

April 6, 2020. My fingers traced the empty spaces in the granite.

Six inches of sadness for everything lost.

 

 

I go to the site often, from miles away, alone—

Sifting clods of memories in solitude.

The sun has sunk in the sky again, but the season lingers,

its parching wind stripping the landscape, six feet at a time.

Six feet that stretch around the globe.

 

 

I go to the site, but you are not there—

Thank God.

Your death and life were not measured in feet—

Thank God.

You are there, six feet into an eternity 

where we’ll be together, death and six long feet swallowed by life.

Thank God.

 

 

Losses during these months of COVID-19 have been numerous and multifaceted. As my church considers how to mark the time and remember, especially, those we lost but could not adequately mourn, I wrote this reflection about my own loss and grief this year.

4 thoughts on “Six Feet

  1. Wendy, this is beautiful and sorrowful, all at the same time. Though your words are specific to your memories, so many people can identify and benefit from this read. Thank you for sharing your deep reflections and grief. I hope this gets published.
    Bonnie

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