Into the dark and wide Des Moines
I pour you, ashes fogging shallows.
A moccasin in the rushes close by,
Dark glisten, still as stone.
Birdsong blesses the air,
Bridge a silent acolyte.
You rode ponies not far from here,
Tamed litters of kittens,
Wept leaving at summer’s end.
Now you bloom again to the surface,
Your last thank you, becoming
This river, this soil, this cloud-piled sky.


Ed Brickell is a Soto Zen practitioner living in Dallas, Texas. His poems have appeared or will appear soon in Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Copperfield Review, Beatnik Cowboy, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Lothlorien Poetry Journal.