What We Have Done

My mother shrugged off life
Three thousand miles from Paris,
City of her birth. It takes
Two weeks of bureaucratic tape
Before I fly her scant remains
From Buffalo to this historic place,
May 9, 1975, a fine night
For being scattered, if ever
There was one. Co-conspirators,
We creep beneath the Pont Neuf,
My mother and I, she beneath
My coat in a cold container,
And then I dump her in the Seine,
As I promised to do.

How her dozing old bones
Must gape at the ancient stones.
How surely my mother laughs
At what we have done, laughs
To have come home like this,
Laughs and laughs from her sandbar
In the Seine where she lies
Like fragments of an old ghost,
The ashes of a medieval saint,
In the mud of her resting place.

Leave a Reply