the aurora borealis
is green ghostly shadow soft
and swirling and just as pure pretty
through my dirty windshield
as you’d find on any february calendar picture.
the fat stars shine on and on
through the bluegreen ice hanging above gravity
above those mountain midnight silhouettes
off the glenn allen highway.
maybe the green rubbed off the pine needles.
maybe the blue smeared off
that afternoon’s sky that knocks off early up here
refusing to work overtime in winter.
our father has decided to be cremated and the brothers know
where to scatter the ashes in that happy place of killing
his moose and bear.
he chose to die up here
where he raised the six of us
his ghostly shadows of children who have children who have children.
so we take turns
coming home to beam at his kitchen table
at his stories at his jokes
and his biscuits and gravy
he says it’s good
to see our shining faces and
we know he can see in this darkness
a while longer.
planning his spring fishing trip
arranging his lines and lures.
about his lilacs and lilies
if the cold doesn’t break soon
enough to warm the ground
that needs desperate digging.
but calm clear.
there will be spring.
and he shakes the human dust of him
the green of him the blue
over us his red aurora
and we oblige and