At Thomas Merton’s Grave

We can never be with loss too long.

Behind the warped door that sticks,

the wood thrush calls to the monks,

pausing atop the stone crucifix,

singing: “I am marvelous alone!”

Thrash, thrash goes the hayfield:

rows of marrow and bone undone.

The horizon’s flashing fastens tight,

sealing the blue hills with vermillion.

Moss dyes a squirrel’s skull green.

The cemetery expands its borders —

little milky crosses grow like teeth.

How kind time is, altering space

so nothing stays wrong: and light,

more new light, always arrives.

Spencer Reece, “At Thomas Merton’s Grave” from The Road to Emmaus. Copyright © 2014 by Spencer Reece. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: The Road to Emmaus (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014)