Jean A. Kingsley


In lunar August, we spread her ashes
among the trees in the apple orchard,
offer slender prayers up and down
the rows: farewell, farewell,
dear sister—goodbye.

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.

Jean A. Kingsley

earned an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and lives in Rochester, New York. She is the recipient of the 1995 Academy of American Poets Prize and a finalist for "Discovery"/The Nation and The Constance Saltonstall Foundation of the Arts Fellowship. She won a poetry book award for Traceries from ABZ Press in 2014 (selected by C. D. Wright) and is a recent reviewer for the Antioch Review.