Fall 2009

Volume 4, Issue 2



West Cape

In Memoriam

This year the cape has changed.
Green is anchored deeper
than the water itself.
Sky looks so much like sea
even the egrets are confused,

just the way you’d want it.

I spent this winter envisioning you
back at the vineyard, fingers sticky
with “blueberry surprise,”
back glued to the longest branch
of white-blooded birch.

I am twelve again
waiting for you to run into
the meadow, that Cheshire
Cat of a smile on your face,
so we can race to that cliff
on the north end, the one with
vines and foxgloves covering
the lighthouse, whitewashed and grand
against a distance of gunmetal blue.

It was there that we laughed until
our stomachs hurt, took our
first sips of moonshine
(my uncle’s brew)
smashed fireflies and rubbed
our skin sore so that we too might

That was years before the deacons
clothed in black. The summer
covered in moths, weeds,
cicadas. The cemetery singing:

Your loss is my gain.

At the west end of this square
a headstone floraled, faded
and dreaming. Your name
etched deliberately into
stone. Years curved in calligraphy:


The small line between
years meant to symbolize
a whole life: the
boy who shared my
summers draped in magic.
As if you were no vaster
than that small space
between the years,
the life you lived
little more than language
unfolding itself on a rock.


Order Danke Schoen, a poetry collection by Alexandria Ashford here.


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© 2009 Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture