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The Ceremony Remains (For Erna Rosenfeld), a poem by Hiromi Yoshida

The Ceremony Remains
(For Erna Rosenfeld)

by Hiromi Yoshida

Bike-rush down the wrong South Adams Street dead-
end to dead-end—grey October air heavy with mourning
and rainstorm threat. “Is it

rude to appear late for an occasion
such as this?” I wondered as though each
moment (I was not
there) were yet another blow
striking one final
nail into her

casket. Urgency and denial coexisted

so impossibly—propelling me in all the wrong directions
as though my heart were a broken

compass unable to gauge the simplest
way to the site of serene abjection (i.e. the Beth

Shalom Gardens). Discarded funeral
program pamphlets folded slightly

askew with the damp of sad fingers;
water for ritual handwash running
sparkles; bowl of unknown Jewish ceremony
implements folded carefully in dark

blue linen; and the colossal casket in the designated oblong hallowed groundspace--clods of soil ritualistically scattered across its hidden surface, the ceremony remains
in the gradual sunlight seeping through the sky’s opening cracks

above those who linger at Valhalla.

Bio: Hiromi Yoshida has been described as one of Bloomington’s “finest and most outspoken poets” by Tony Brewer, Chair of the Writers Guild at Bloomington, Indiana. Her poems have been published in The Asian American Literary Review, Indiana Voice Journal, Evergreen Review, and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society.