Half Drunk Muse Poetry


Ashes by Janet I. Buck

When Cancer stole you
from the earth, it left a hole.
A diary of empty pages
begging to be written on.
The autumn leaves,
their mulch and stems
became a pencil in my hand,
but winter won. I skipped
the stage of infancy,
went straight to frost.
Father couldn’t live the thaw.

You are myths of busy brushes
clawing at my tangled mane.
A piece of fiction at the prom
who might have shown me how to dance.
In a strange way, I’m crossing
half a continent to throw your tomb
like ashes in an open sea.
Trading all I have not known
for some embrace
in garnished wings of possibles.

Another woman’s open arms—
a cartridge full of sea-blue ink.
I feel a little guilty now
for wishing washing memory,
even though their figments stand
in cattails I have never touched.
The Statue of Mary in dirty white
lingers in the mud’s cement
three feet from your hollow grave,
but measured in eternities.
I’m plotting like a novelist
to change the end from death to love.
My tongue is tasting chicken soup
and carrot cubes your hands
were never there to stir.

View bio for Janet I. Buck Published in All Poems 1999-2004

About HDM

Half Drunk Muse was one of the first poetry ezines. It was founded in 1999 and ceased publication in 2006.

Questions/comments? Email samiller@halfdrunkmuse.com.