The Neverwill
for Ellie

I’m thinking about her, wondering if she is a spirit now, wondering
if there is any spirit, at all, and today my doubts are strong, but still,
I find I can imagine her as a tiny spirit-bird, the littlest one, the one
you can’t even see, the neverwill, I call her, and I love the thought of her
shaking the last hanging leaves of that plum tree behind the empty shed,
flitting from branch tip to tip, singing in a voice pitched just too high to hear,

and right then a flock of bushtits and chickadees gathers in the tree I’m watching,
and for a moment I actually believe it’s her, and she has company there, with
all the other little spirits who will never suffer life, who only ever dreamed
and never woke, who always only floated without breath inside the warm body of love
each one now a tiny bird all flocking together and singing in the bare branches
of that plum tree behind the empty shed trying to comfort me.


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