Cover Me

Photo for the poem, Cover Me by Angela Josephine

The following poem was inspired by “The House of Mourning” by Kate Braestrap. Her story invites us to… “Walk fearlessly into the house of mourning; for grief is just Love squaring up to its oldest enemy. And after all these mortal human years, Love is up to the challenge.”

Cover Me

If I go before you, cover me.
Cover me with blankets of pine needles and boughs of fir.

But first, you must scoop Superior with cupped palms and
pour the unsalted surf across my temples.
Trail the icy tide along my sternum and
deposit the eroded sandstone cliffs at the base of my navel.

Forage her shoreline for blueberry shrubs in late summer and
crush their fragrant leaves behind my ears.
Pluck a single sapphire pearl and
tuck it beneath my tongue.

Fill buckets with cones and
ferns to wreath my head with those backcountry adventures.
Wrap my feet in paper birch love letters and
bind them with Greenbrier –
male for the left,
female for the right.

Wade into the calm shallows to hunt for tumbled planets like we did.
Find the smooth skipping stones and
hold them in your mouth five cycles.
Set the wetted truths to skim across my lids,
Set your lips to mine until the fruit bursts and
the taste that you remember,
the flavor of our mixed DNA,
is blueberry wine.

Finally, gather the embers of a driftwood fire and
anoint my head with campfire song.

And when all this is done,
When you are ready…
Cover me.
Cover me with blankets of pine needles and boughs of fir.