death and butterfly signs

One Tender Mercy

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

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©2021 Susan Noyes Anderson

I wrote a poem of you
and your blue eyes,
then took a walk
to read it at your grave.
Arriving there, I found
to my surprise,
no trace of tree
or pot, love-gifts we gave.

The barren marker hit
my weary heart,
bludgeoned the loss,
returned me to the start.
What hand would lift an
offering from cold stone,
leaving it empty
and the dead alone?

No answer came, but
ritual stepped in.
Scrub brush in hand,
I knelt to cleanse your space.
The granite, washed in
water, bathed in tears,
was carefully restored
to former grace.

In peace I stood, intoned
the blue-themed poem,
sent all my love
into the azure sky.
And then, a tender
mercy sent by you:
one tiny, darting,
bright blue butterfly.

If this poem resonates with you, you might enjoy reading “What Matters,” the blue-themed poem mentioned in this little story. You might also enjoy “On Signs and Mysteries,” another poem I wrote about this same experience with the blue butterfly at my son’s grave.

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