The Vault of Heaven

I carried you to your grave
out St. Catherine’s door and down the steps,
under the light of the silent litany,
from the hearse across
the frozen ruts and crusted snow
to your grave.

You were smaller in death than in life;
light, except for the pinewood coffin.
Before you died, at the wedding
I held your hand and had the terrible
realization that I weighed more.
I wanted to cry, then, at the lightness.

I carried you to your grave
with my coat unzipped and snow in my shoes.
I looked hard and clear up
at the raven disappearing into a frosted pine
and down at the covered valley
plain – certain.

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