This past winter was a dark one in my life, marked by periods of mourning over loved ones buried and a loneliness more severe than previous snowy seasons. A blessing and tragedy of living far from family is that when crises occurs, I benefit and suffer from a level of detachment due to the distance that separates; I’m no stranger to that sensation and have grown accustomed, perhaps even too comfortable, with my living in my self-prescribed exile. This particular piece was written shortly after my grandmother passed in December and though there isn’t anything especially revealing about the piece, I required some time before being able to share it. My grandmother was a woman bearing such a kind, generous, and warm spirit, and a woman of unshakeable faith; there’s no other person who has made me want to believe in the heavens more than her.
Ash and Snow
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks
Frailty failed her lungs,
breaths left dangling in the space above her bones,
the dissolved muscles and grey skin drained of its glow–
the absent sting of sunlight an illusion as bold as sunset.
Life rarely leaves lovely behind,
though caskets cling to the remnants
as if at war with soil’s desire to consume.
I’m told there was a mountain behind the funeral procession,
one which begs the imagination to blur colors of ash and snow,
as if they are not the same.
In earth her body lay buried,
wrapped with silk,
drenched in smooth faith.
Her soul in a distant ascension,
legs a reliquary latched to the stairway made of scripture.