Gratitude at a Funeral

A person can live like that oak tree
Back home on the family farm,
Familiar and, seemingly, unstoppable.

Year after year, growing and ingesting
The metal of an old chain. At one time
It had been a ladder for the boys on Sundays,
Dripping from their swim
In a nearby pond. They climbed that tree,
Looking for angels.

If you walk far enough along your wrinkles,
You’ll, eventually, come upon an angel’s house.

There is gratitude at a funeral,
It isn’t loud or obvious. It’s more gentle
Like the nuzzle of a horse’s nose
Or a breeze brushing the heavy tops of tall grasses,
Creating the waves of something kind,
A softness of mercy, like the wind
Nowhere and yet, everywhere.