We buried your grandfather’s body
in a graveyard in old Virginia.
I stood somber in a cheap black dress
bought for the funeral,
my eyes downcast, not belonging.
In the nursing home
we carried out boxes,
and the elderly gathered like dry leaves, rustling,
I wanted to sing to them,
but instead I walked briskly by—
a sound in my ear, like the quiet roar
inside a shell.