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Martha Vertreace-Doody's Poetry


"Ever precious," my husband says,

dying as night winds strengthen. "Ever precious."


On my writing table, unanswered letters,

bible, Old Farmer's Almanac which fails to predict


with sunrise tables, planting charts, strong and weak

weather, his singular illness. On the cover, Father Time,


the scythe for reaping, the urn for emptying all hope.

The avenging angel holds the hourglass to the light


of judgement, grains of sand numbered like the hairs

in my husband's brush, sparrows that darken the elms


with their cries. If I uncoil the silk braids

of my hair, rid my body of black wool, crepe,


whose share in my grief mocks silence,

I become a prairie coneflower, sentinel at his grave,


ever blooming, everlasting.