You chose cremation, "my ashes to be scattered,
           beside a stream, near a weeping willow,"
     free as your spirit, carried
                   by the wind.
       The earth, dark and damp. The worms.
             These held few attractions.  You
                           shuddered, claustrophobic
    to the end.

Later he said no.
    He wanted a place to go.
   He wanted to be with you.

He carved a box for the ashes,
     the outline of his hand chiseled deep
                     into its side.
              We buried it at Mt. Auburn,
       in sight of a pond, veiled by
                                            huge willows.  

A good compromise, we thought.

   Now we place small stones on
      your stone--"Ruth Lisa Schechter, Poet"--set
                      flat in the ground.
                  I see you standing by a Hawthorne tree you'd love,
                               more bemused than
             angry: "Nu, even in death I can't escape. I couldn't
                even have this. He can't let go."
        Then I hear
                      your laughter, resigned,  
                                                           rolling down toward  

October 1995 

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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