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He travels with half, a poem by Laurel Smith

He travels with half

his mother’s ashes across the sea,
to the other place she lived away

from him, her East-West selves
grounded in a storied geography:

Here is the river I knew as a girl—
That’s the town where I met him—

her voice a swirl of distant sounds
he knows he will forget. He thinks

dust to dust” a poor cliché, the grains
he now carries more like seeds to be

planted: which one would open in July
with a bloom the size of her fist,

which would grow straight then bend
as if to lift a child who looks like him?

—by Laurel Smith

Bio: Laurel Smith lives in Vincennes, Indiana, and happily participates in projects to promote literacy and the arts. Her poetry has appeared in various periodicals, including Natural Bridge, New Millennium Writings, Tipton Poetry Review, Flying Island, English Journal, JAMA: Journal of the AMA; also in the following anthologies: And Know This Place, Visiting Frost, and Mapping the Muse