Dark, intimate music burns
in the interior of our hearts.
The silk lining of our souls
is torn a bit in the sleeve.
We put on a suit of clothes
for working days of mourning.
Our shirts are stained.
The drops of Synge's Maurya,
her sup of holy water,
the wine of our pain,
these are pressed from our eyes,
and poured out
to anoint the cold feet of the dead.
The bitter draught is sweetened in memory
of those who are named on stones, curled pages,
carved into park benches, and tattooed on pale skin.
The dust in your hair remembers those whose names are lost.
The seeds we scatter on the earth
give forth their increase,
the barley, poppies and chicory,
all soothe and sooth in their turn.
The roots we've dug are stored in cool dark places.
They will feed us in winter's dark
and hold us through the famine of spring.
Hold fast to your own,
hold fast to me,
hold fast through the fast
and feast when the table is laid.