In lunar August, we spread her ashes
among the trees in the apple orchard,
offer slender prayers up and down
the rows: farewell, farewell,
I stop to fasten my hair with a pin,
gaze up at frost and snow on a nearby mountain
that edges into a clear crisp night.
Who can remember or yet understand
how the stars are pulled down to the vast ocean,
moon that bobs in its ebb and flow,
or a mother wailing into dusky light
having gained only a drifting image:
a feather in a bowl of water.