In a High Green Place (for Those Who’ve Perished)

Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

Lay me down in a high green place
along a serpentine river to see
sun ride day into night, and
furred and feathered ones gathered as
clouds drift, stars ignite, wind hums.
Let limbs of trees bow deep into
clover, sway in acres of
grassy shimmy and ripple.
Then I will know earth can yet
live and breathe clean.

Let evening speak of honorable ways
and daybreak reveal more gifts divine.
May wild things mingle on land
for all who come to seek, find, pause,
with more arriving and those now done.
Voices here are full call and response,
rumbling deep where silence reigns.

Visitors will release their truths
of late confessions and longings,
hoping for bridges to our migrant souls.
But death and forgiveness rearrange everything.
We no longer know what harnesses hate;
nothing remains of schemes that bound us.

Just lay me down in a cradle of peace
where spirit’s embrace is welcome, safe
and light embraces fleet shadow
and twilight makes tender all loss.
Rites of passage leave no mark
that cannot be transformed beyond.
All life merges with water, earth, air.
We loosen from needs that tether
love to grief and drift on a course
where nothing follows everything.

So lay us down easy in a mountain
valley watched by Eye of God,
where water runs its natural race
and wind blows bright on wing and leaf
and tears fail to flood mother soil
and the soul is a poem filling its sails
on a river that flows up to far away skyscapes.
Lay us down in green fire of summer to rest.