We recently passed a year since my sister-in-law died and it still feels unreal.

how can a whole person
with laughter and love and light
become a pile of ash?

staring down at her tan particles
now sifted over the frozen grass
I consider how the wind might pick her up
and toss her into the trees
how she might dance in the air for a moment
how the birds might peck at her pieces with curiosity

I think about how the snow will melt
and soften her like wet sand
how the rain might run her into puddles, down gutters, out to streams

I imagine how years will pass and the compression of seasons
will press her further into the ground
becoming the layers of stone she once admired

how her particles might seep to the roots of trees and flowers
wiggle among the worms
how inevitably she will become spread out
one with nature and earth
in a way that perhaps she was before
and perhaps she could be again

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