A Lament

The day they handed me your ashes
I thought I saw your silhouette
in the mountain by my house where the waves
beat against the unforgiving rock and cold.
My soul screamed
like my body did during your birth,

but this is a different kind of birth.
One of bones and ashes
where even my muscles and sinews scream
at the hope of a glimpse of your silhouette.
I’m left with nothing but silence and cold
and a wish to go under the waves.

I remember how you used to wave
to me from high up on the swing and birth
a smile on both our faces, but mine has grown cold
like my fingers wrapped tightly around your ashes.
I can’t even find your silhouette
as the ravens fly around the rocks and scream.

Maybe we’re all meant to scream
and throw ourselves under the waves
in the hopes of seeing a silhouette
of someone we’ve loved since birth
who has since become ashes
when we’re left alive, but oh so cold.

And maybe it’s normal to feel cold
and to wake up screaming
and reach for ashes
that quickly dissolve in waves
as the ocean gives birth
to a murky silhouette.

I tried to hold the fading silhouette
but I’m left cold
with the memories of a long-ago birth.
The wind took my scream
and buried it in the waves
with your lifeless ashes.

I screamed and gave birth
to a silhouette of ashes
that not even the waves and cold could erase.

Shannon Blackburn lives in Lafayette, Louisiana. She enjoys writing short stories and poetry and is currently working on her MFA.

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2 Responses to A Lament

  1. Lee Dunn says:

    Oh, this is a long slow knife.

  2. Jay Gandhi says:

    Heartfelt Sestina!

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