Requiem for Myself

When I die
plant a pinwheel
in an open field
where winter’s wind
and rain march forcefully
across in battalions,
and you can stumble
out there to meet me
one late afternoon
when you feel the world
must surely be ending.

You, soaked
from tears and storms,
kinship with dark sky.
Me, rainbow axis whirling,
an orbit of
joyful defiance.

You then, inspired,
tumble gleefully
across grass, pirouette,
forgetting for a moment
grief’s burden,
knowing the world
will be with you
for many years to come.

Never think
this brief sojourn wasted
as you head back
to the fire waiting at home,
laughing to yourself
the whole way.

Christine Valters Paintner is an American poet and writer living in Galway, Ireland. She is the author of eleven books of nonfiction on creative process and contemplative practice, and her poems have been published in The Galway Review, Boyne Berries, HeadStuff, Skylight 47, Spiritus, Tiferet Journal, Anchor, Presence, Crannóg, ARTS, U.S. Catholic, and North West Words. Her first collection of poems, Dreaming of Stones, will be published by Paraclete Press in 2019. You can find more of her writing and poetry at Abbey of the Arts.

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