The Margorie E. Peale Prize

Aly Goodwin

 

Written in the Ruins of Old Sheldon Church,

St. William's Parish, Beaufort County, SC,

16 October, 2004

When I die

bring my ashes here.

I want to lie

within the remaining pink

brick Corinthian walls,

blow about

when wind

sets walnuts raining

down

to the grass floor


like sermons neither of us

has ever heard and therefore

is not likely to forget,

and you'll know what to do,

for salt water swells and wanes

in your veins as in mine

and you long to get back to the sea.

And this is the closest we may ever get,

my ashes eventually limited to four corners

of a twice-burned church with no roof

and the better for it, yours drifting softly

toward the wrecked pirogue from childhood

fi fly years rotting at the bottom of a salt marsh

nearby, finally washed

to China with the tide.


Today

I stole

a loose

brick

as collateral.

 

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