The Peacock Pin

for E.B.

Roman catacombs are filled with paintings of that bird,
symbol of Christ; their feathers shed, regrown.
Down in the dark, in hidden places where air meets root—
the peacock struts a bold resurrection.

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These days, I've been wearing the peacock pin you gave me years ago.
Its sharp point reminds how your body has suffered,
how our family's body will bleed when you go.
Yes, you should know how it will be between you and us.
When you leave us, we'll work to raise our tremolos in song—
to transform knee-sore anguish into prayer.
This, because we know your feather-shaped soul will jubilate,
as it joins the great wing of saints.
But—there will be a fastening.
I say it again. I shout it. I swear it.
We pin you to us.
Do you hear?
Even as you go, and I mean really travel well,
We pin you to us.
We pin your beauty,
we pin your sorrowful and glorious mysteries,
We pin you
to the unfinished saints you leave behind.

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