I tried to wait for the Writers Digest Poet to issue today's prompt, but I was up early and this is what came out.
This is a poem for Uncle Chico, who died unexpectedly after a fall in a Safeway just before Thanksgiving. He died from a stroke on Christmas Eve. The thing that bothers me most about his death is that for all of his brilliance, for all of his life pursuits, he died a lonely man.
This one is called Ash.
Ash cold blown over hardpan
We stand at an overpass
At Highway 87
And FM 963
Beyond the graves the blank fields
Scroll wide to a dull chalk line
A divide between this earth
And a bowl of gauze white sky
A turquoise feather, you flit
One child among us ravens
Beside a line of mid-range cars
You drift up to take my hand
Raked by wind, we huddle close
Among headstones succumbing
To the slow crumbling of earth,
The constant wing-beats of time
My Dad and his brother kneel
With a zip-tied bag of ash
All that’s left of their brother:
Charles Michael Gravis
But we know you as
Our Uncle: mad scientist.
The man taught you algebraAnd now all we have is ash.