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Two-Thirds of My Dad’s Ashes

I scattered two-thirds of my dad’s ashes today
A still June day
Just into the woods
Over a rocky ledge on the slope of a bluff in Monteagle, Tennessee
He died over three years ago
My mom is letting go of him slowly
A few pieces at a time, unplanned
But not unthoughtful
I ask her if I should scatter them all but she says no
Hold some for my brothers just in case
And hold some for the time
When her ashes can combine with the remainder of his
And be brought back to this place
So I, being the third son, do as I am told
And consign the final third to the black plastic box
That will return to my mom’s bedroom closet for a while longer
There is no clear path to the place
Blocked in various places by fallen branches and thorned vines.
My mom does not accompany me
The bluff is barely visible from this far down
A few yards farther you can no longer see the forest from the trees
But this close to the edge you begin to feel the gravity, the pull
There are saplings, rattlesnake weeds, a wild blueberry bush
And a large oak tree with one dead branch
A humble and forgettable place for two-thirds of the ashes
Of a humble and unforgettable man

About this poem

I wrote this about my dad, who died in 2018, and my mom - who still loves him.

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Written on June 19, 2021

Submitted on June 29, 2021

Modified by rlh

1:07 min read

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    "Two-Thirds of My Dad’s Ashes" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/103836/two-thirds-of-my-dad’s-ashes>.

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