Take Me Back, Scatter Me, Scatter Me

Don’t box me shut or enclose me in an urn to display me on the mantel,           
Or drown me in the ocean or the sea, but scatter me, scatter me, take me back,

Scatter me under the bough of the towering oak tree near the cast iron bell,             
Scatter a part of me on the left side of the soccer pitch where I played and fell    
Where your mom and I sat and watched you both take your first steps.
From there walk across the creek to where a track once defined the field        
And spread me in between lanes one and two, though any lane will do.        
Walk along the creek, toward the rez, and scatter some of me along the way
Jump in if the water tempts you, do a cannonball for me, but better yet,        
Swing out on the rope if it’s still hanging from the tree and let go                     
Dry off, sit in the sun awhile, and listen to the frogs and the bees
Continue beyond the rez and sprinkle some ashes near an oak tree or two         
At the Indian mounds, find a resting place, and scatter me there too                                
Say a prayer for all who are buried there and include a prayer for me
Then take me and hike up to the pyramid top of my beloved Grass Mountain    
Scatter me along the way, but save two handfuls, one for the summit          
Where a rusty pipe perhaps still holds a list of faded names and dates
Sign my name, and sign yours too, but bring a sheet of paper just in case   
Disperse a handful of me so I may rest among the poppies in spring                  
To inspire others to hike up Grass Mountain’s face
Inside the pipe or in a gopher hole, leave the proof that we made it to the top
Then find a rock to sit on and enjoy the beauty of the valley and this place.   
Remember the quiet, the stillness in the air but head down before sunset.
Whatever life I made, this is where a part of me was meant to always stay,                 
Where my seeds were planted, where the both of you must now restart your way      
A last fistful of me now is left remaining to be spread
Run! Skip back down the face, past the mounds, and to Tank Mesa’s gate!
Walk, jog, laugh, smile, and reminisce along the winding loop                                         
Sprinkle what remains of me on the road, even if past the flickering light of day.

Where once your mother and I also walked, jogged, laughed, and smiled                      
Where once I held her hand and still believed in dreams.

About this poem

Instructions for my children upon my death.

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Written on December 29, 2005

Submitted by gbaranoff on March 25, 2023

Modified on May 02, 2023

2:22 min read

Quick analysis:

Characters 2,458
Words 474
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 2, 27, 2

Gregory Baranoff

Gregory Baranoff was born in Shanghai, China to Russian parents and came to the United States in the early sixties. more…

All Gregory Baranoff poems | Gregory Baranoff Books

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Discuss the poem "Take Me Back, Scatter Me, Scatter Me" with the community...

  • lovingempath
    I'm with you Greg. I don't want to sit on a shelf...I'd rather be scattered in the places I've always loved. I followed your entire journey and felt like I was the one doing the 'scattering'. This is a very powerful poem. Thank you for sharing it with us. 
    LikeReply5 months ago
  • Symmetry58
    Congratulations, Greg. You definitely deserve this. Great read for sure.
    LikeReply 25 months ago
  • keithtrutz
    It was so touching. And pulled at my heart and made me cry.
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • JD.Mags
    This hit me in the feels. I used to live close to a rez, so it's always home for me. Good job!
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • DougHaberman
    Very moving poem filled with meaningful details that vividly make the speaker come to life.
    LikeReply5 months ago


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"Take Me Back, Scatter Me, Scatter Me" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/156369/take-me-back,-scatter-me,-scatter-me>.

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