Instructions For Julianne, Upon My Death

Julianne, go home
take your dusty shovel
and hollow three steps
windward of our tree
its boughs bent, unripe fruit
dangled over muddy river
roots snagging, thorns bloody
with testament to youth’s
tangled hands
stained pockets, those
wild dreams

take your shovel and

and digging, grow
steep graves of dry dirt
beneath the rumbling thunder
testing lesser courage
yet let no rain prevent you
piling soil, peeling time
while shadows spar drifting leaves
and sallow clang
of steel on brass
gives pause

there you may find
in locked chest buried
three deep, four wide
our necklace of memory
– the one you left behind –
lonely, cold as stars

so here

take my bones
sing from them a key
for the chest, the chain
I won’t need its weight anymore
nor will the tree keep it

may you find the peace I wish I’d had
among those empty boughs

— Emma Louise Gill

Image from PxHere. Header image from Pexels.

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