At Thomas Merton's grave

Spencer Reese

· Poem of the day

At Thomas Merton's grave


We can never be with loss too long.

Behind the warped door that sticks,

the wood thrush calls to the monks,

pausing atop the stone crucifix,

singing: "I am marvelous alone!"

Thrash, thrash goes the hayfield:

rows of marrow and bone undone.

The horizon's flashing fastens tight,

sealing the blue hills with vermilion.

Moss dyes a squirrel's skull green.

The cemetery expands its borders—

little milky crosses grow like teeth.

How kind time is, altering space

so nothing stays wrong: and light,

more new light, always arrives.

—Spencer Reese (The road to Emmaus)

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