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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 2, June 2016
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Autumn Noelle Hall
Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, USA


Road Kill Threnody

“nothing lives long . . . nothing lives long"

. . . nothing lives lo-ng
but the Earth and the Moun-tain”

an honoring song
intoned for all those left
for dead along the road

Each year, I look forward to the herons' return to our mountains. So when I pass one shrouded in its own wings on the canyon shoulder, I am sufficiently saddened to pull off and walk the curve to retrieve it. All the while wondering how one even manages to hit an airborne heron . . .? I bring it home, bury it under a young pine behind our garden. But not deep enough. A fox digs it up, and then a bear. I keep shoveling, holding funerals over and over, overlooking the pond that was its aim; until it finally sinks below the line of discovery, wrapped in an airline blanket and top-weighted with rocks. It's not easy, digging holes in decomposing granite. I don't intend to repeat this particular form of honoring again. From now on, I think I’ll just stick to the song . . .

returning
to rocky soil
quill by quill
heron bones still
writing sky poems


Author’s Note: Colorado poets Art Goodtimes and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer sang and passed down this italicized honoring song to me. It derives from Art's poem, He Sings the Lyric Valuables.

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