A Pauper’s Ceremony

I helped to release her mother
from the morgue
money is power to release the dead

We met a time later
in a pauper’s ceremony,

she sprinkled some ashes
on her father’s grave,
a father she never knew
her mother and father

together at last
(sounds like a romantic tragedy because it was)I tried to look into her face
and find my relation
my sister
my mother
a piece of me
and I was left emptyThere was nothing there
but a stranger loosely connected by bloodWhen we parted
she wanted to give me something

my mother’s ashes
probably because I helped her
obtain her mother just the same
but I couldn’t take my mother awayShe didn’t belong to me
she chose another life
and belonged to another tribeI went home empty
Yet full

Some vessels are made to carry
memories of ashes and nothing more


Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that their use depends. – Lao Tzu