Casting the Ashes
by Anne Carroll Fowler

Casco Bay was the only place
for Dad, we knew -- those waters always
had the better part of him. Out Huzzey Sound,
Mother says. The day's fogbound, an oily
sea, but we're ready. The whole
family boards the big borrowed yacht
Abracadabra, and we sail down the Bay.
Beer and saltines with peanut butter,
his ritual morning snack.

_________When it's time we all take turns
hurling heavy gravelly handfuls
onto the outgoing tide. But I want a place,
a bit of ground to go to, and I hold
back an ounce or two in a sandwich bag
to bury by my pond.
__________________We tack toward home,
knowing how, when we step off
onto the dock, loss will eddy back
into each of us. As we round the bell
at Cow Island, all the grandchildren
throw pennies, trying to hit the buoy for luck.

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