Beautiful Noise

Elegy for Druid's 42


It's hard to mourn for 42.

Our grief wants names to hang upon;

Her lover, 21, mourns wordlessly.


Perhaps in his grey mind,

Crying for lost love,

He thinks of her as Flirt,

Because she came to him,

tail flicking high,

Encroaching on his mate's domain.


Perhaps her name was Mother,

Even in his elder mind,

The matriarch

Who ruled their pack

with iron love. Or

Perhaps his grief was nameless too,

As ours must be,

Speaking sorrow

to an earless moon.


Did she think of 21,

She, denned with new cubs

in her mountain meadow,

As Swift Runner or Provider,

Or just Love, My Love,

My Grey Heart's Hope?


Snow falls on the lake shore

Where her body goes to grass.

Maggots will erase her

When winter ends.

And the pack courses elk by moonlight

And their father's grief,

New mother in the lead,

New leader teaching,

Daughter of the nameless, 42.

–March, 2004


Poetry Writing Dancing Badger