Remember that from dust you were made, and unto dust you shall return.
_from the service for Impostion of Ashes
By the age of retirement a woman
should have little in hand, a lot to forgive,
and memories, overwhelming memories.
How else shall I account for my present
condition? Aching gritty joints, floppy flesh,
colorless hair littering floors and solitary
pillow. Now are the days of roots exposed,
grey bark flaking and cold limbs cracking
off into background loam and leaves.
Lying awake in winter with eyes closed,
dreaming under the sign of Ashes,
a parade of images more alluring than any
fantasy of future virility and triumph
compels my attention and before me returns
into a luminous warm dark, beckoning.