No plaques please or eulogies.
Keep her away from the crossroads
the village green with the limp-armed pump.
Do not grow tulips in her.
Lay her down in the reeds among the cots,
the forsaken mooring buoys.
Let her see the heron’s dive, the rusting
engine—Lister Blackstone, Dursley, England
the rubbish sack sprawled in the blackberry
bush. Leave and do not come back
until a light rain is falling and the silence
coming out of her is the same as the silence
coming out of boats turned upside down
or lying on their sides. Say your prayer
if you must, face towards the sea. After,
give her room to sing or recite—
carvel, clinker, futtock, spline—Listen
to her tale of the gentle-fingered sailor
who interrupts his evening stroll
to caress her cheek, test the spring of her ribs.
Whose children she hears on clear nights
raving on the opposite shore.