We walked through the cemetery,
William Cognat’s grave blasted

by an oak, cement chunks
shoved up the hillsides,

Cognat tossed to one side,
his wife to another,

the huge trunk breaking
whatever was left to break.

I want a tree to grow through me.
That’s how she spoke.

Ship my ashes to Thailand—
the children will have to travel.

In the spring we flew to Chiang Mai,
threw her into the river;

I returned to the Strait
of Juan de Fuca

to lie and to wait.

Author: Jayne Benjulian