Monday, May 1, 2017

Samsara by Janette Schafer

I knelt with my spade
atop the hard gray paving stone,
mixing a spadesful of ashes
with muddy earth and Mexican sunflowers.

I carried dust in my pocket
as I crossed the Smithfield Street Bridge
and opened the plastic bottle watching
as thin streams of gray
joined the Monongahela.

I stirred the charcoal powder
into the gravel of the chiminea,
covering you with cedar logs
before warming us both with fire.

I stood on the Mt. Washington overlook
as the wind swept you
from my outstretched hands,
then I kissed the last of you
from my blackened fingertips.

Janette Schafer is a playwright, poet, and opera singer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a 2017 awardee of the Maenad Fellowship in writing through Chatham University and a 2015 awardee of the Arts MODE Fellowship through New Sun Rising LLC for playwriting and experimental theater. Recent and upcoming publications appear in Zany Zygote Review; Eyedrum Periodically; Nasty Women & Bad Hombres; The Woman, Inc.; B. E. Literary Journal; Big Lit International Writing Festival; and Chatham University broadsides.

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