He felt drowned in his darkness
of cold willow shade and death.
He slouched on his rocking chair
with his big wrinkled fingers,
his rock cheeks, tree trunk forehead,
lazy Z’s sang lullabies.
Last year’s fire sang lullabies
filled the air with ash darkness.
Struggled to see past forehead
past charred remains of hot death,
drew symbols with ash fingers,
wiped them from wood on his chair.
Flames had encircled his chair,
licked his porch with lullabies,
caressed with amber fingers.
He thought of deep sleeps darkness,
if he had a place in death,
rubbed wrinkles on his forehead.
Those past Ash Wednesday foreheads,
Sunday teachers in their chairs,
a flood of life before death,
fragrant times lost lullabies.
His want to embrace darkness,
held on with tips of fingers.
He once held his son’s fingers,
moved hair from daughter’s forehead,
turned on the light in darkness,
his wife’s comfort, like his chair.
Sang family lullabies,
never about lonely death.
Flames removed thoughts of his death,
heat tried to smooth his fingers,
not an end a lullaby,
not an angel, a forehead,
a time past, sat on his chair,
middle of charcoal darkness.
Forgave death, wiped his forehead,
cleaned his fingers, rocked his chair,
flames lullabies, his darkness.