On Signs and Mysteries

Written by Susan Noyes Anderson on . Posted in Poems about Death

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©2021 Susan Noyes Anderson

signs from heaven

This morning, rather suddenly,
the cemetery called to me.
I did not yield; my day was full,
yet every hour I felt the pull.
My washer hummed; my keyboard clicked;
the oven baked; the timer ticked,
but underneath their steady thrum,
I heard your soft song, “Come, come, come…”

And so I did. Arriving late,
I barely made it through through the gate,
then wound around to find your grave,
where grief assailed me like a wave.
The grave was bare, the spruce tree gone
(and the clay pot it rested on)
hand-painted in bright days of old,
evoking memories of gold.

I loved that pot. I loved the tree,
the way they always welcomed me.
They marked the place we laid your head.
Why would a person rob the dead?
It pierced my heart, enlarged the hole,
a wound upon a wounded soul.
I stood in solemn disbelief,
an added layer to my grief.

Tears fell and watered holy ground.
I gathered all my forces round
to honor you in song and poem,
clean up the granite, and go home.
The poem I read was washed in blue,
the shade I most relate to you.
I wove that color through each line,
a sort of azure valentine.

It didn’t bring the peace I sought.
I missed the tree. I missed the pot.
But most of all, I missed you, son,
and mourned mischief by cruel hearts done.
Still, as I stayed to play your song,
this bit of magic came along:
a tiny, sky-blue butterfly,
fluttering right before my eye.

I seek no signs or mystery,
but this spoke miracle to me:
In keeping with my blue-based verse,
a small, blue butterfly (my first)
flitted and frolicked round your stone,
as if to say, “You’re not alone.”
I marveled at the lovely sight.
Was there a message in its flight?

Coincidence, my left brain thought,
but my heart whispered, “Surely not.”
In recent years, I’ve seen but few
and never one of such a hue.
My spirit rose as lacy wings
reminded me of sacred things.
Forever grateful, I received
this gift of love from you to me.

If this poem resonated with you, read “What Matters,” the blue-themed verse I was reading to my son at his grave on the day I saw the blue butterfly and felt his love. A Slice of Joy tells another story about my receiving comfort from my son at the cemetery.

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