Words for Adelle Foley

Christopher Bernard

A fallen glove.
A smell of cloves and grass. Far off,
a small, drunken bell.

I bend down to pick up,
in the fragrant garden,
a sleek, black feather.

If death is sleep,
you are like the little mountain flowers
folding under a vanishing sun.

At times like this,
I ask impossible questions,
like an abandoned child.

Nightshade. Day lily.
Noon. A hummingbird sips sweet water
from my astonished hand.

Welcome silence.
Ours is one thing only: this
singing momentariness.
Welcome quiet.

Welcome stillness.
Timelessness out of time,
life looking for its rhyme.
Welcome darkness.

Welcome nothing.
Out of this shabby thing called life,
human strife, its helplessness,
will-o'-wisps, hollow pride,
space and time, their emptiness,
broken bodies, vanished minds,
flash of singing, worlds, breath.
Welcome sleep.

Christopher Bernard is co-editor of Caveat Lector. An earlier version of this poem originally appeared in Synchronized Chaos.