One year ago
as I slept,
your sun-fire soul
into Dolomite mountain
heaven – since then
I’ve been climbing out
of loss, my fingers bloodied
with poetry tethered to the
stardust your laughter left behind.
You swoop in on the lip-red
wings of a cardinal or poke
the wind in the miraculous body
of a dragonfly. Earlier this week,
you got tangled in a spider web,
on purpose, Mom told me, your
mischief dazzling in dewy morning heat.
We’re going to the graveyard
to stand on your bones – the women
four generations thick, though we
each carry pieces of you in our bodies
holding your legacy in our limbs
pushing grief aside like a small mound
of clipped-off thread and remnants
from the wedding dress you made
yourself, its hem still wet from the
ocean water you crossed to get here.
And you are here
even though you are not.
This paradox, like silk under wool,
like crinoline under cotton. We wear
you like each day is a grand ball
in your honour. Some days we weep
in the corners. Others we waltz
barefoot in the kitchen.
Today we press together,
your heart-made pattern,
and sew you with our words
into a place at the table.
I love you, Nonna!
Maria Giuditta Merlo Bison, my beautiful Nonna!