Elegy for Suzanne Nash Gurin

A Week after My Motherʼs Death


I was holding her hand (but did she know). I could no longer ask her permission
to adjust her pillows. (The fish had electrified themselves,
they could feel each other, they could feel me enter the surf.)
I remember gasping

             I remember a long pull of breath—
                          long draw followed by two short ones,
                          then a quietening,
                          then a surprised sound—


it was the river in winter the river
in winter
the hills
with snow the
long dune the
silk tassel

the winter
we took for granted
all these things rolled
around in my memory
how her jade ring
turns on my finger

the moon the comets the tide
up the shore

the moon the tide the comets


barely mentioned

the moon I tried to stay awake for

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