Hobble Creek Review
Ash Wednesday on I95 South
Of flowers, I sense a dearth.
It’s night, but I should smell them now.
Someone has been turning earth,
but with a bulldozer, not a plow.
Trees smolder in piles.
New housing developments will sprout
in their place. But there will be no smiles.
Concrete covers us all, there is no doubt.
Ash smudges our foreheads.
Ash frosts the windshield.
Ash across the country spreads.
The earthly process will not yield.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
All you love will turn to rust.
Ash Wednesday in Miami
Bury me in a Southern field,
free of coffin, free of clothes.
Let me meld into the mulch,
turning the red clay into rich dirt.
Do not let me rot beside this Southernmost
sea that grows more acidic
by the day. I do not want
to fertilize the asphalt and the concrete.
I do not want to wait
for rising seas to consume
my final resting place.
No, bury me in the humid
swamp of a sunny, Southern day.
Let me fertilize the corn and squash.
Remember me when you salt
that perfect tomato sandwich,
sweet with Duke’s mayonnaise
and memories of me.
Kristin Berkey-Abbott's first chapbook, Whistling Past the
Graveyard, was published by Pudding House Press. In 2011,
Finishing Line Press published her next chapbook, I Stand
Here Shredding Documents. She teaches English and Creative
Writing at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, where she also
serves as Chair of General Education.