The organ played – harshly, sadly and slow
It would render a solemn tune, muted by a distant black crow
Alone in the field the bird cackled aloud
Drawing glares and scowls from the dwindling crowd

The mourners shift and stretch, yearning for the service to be done
They are sustaining their gaze ahead, toward the bright shining sun
Now into the shadow for the next ominous course
They woefully abandon thoughts of escape from any source

It was painful to recall details of the time spent with their friend
Then, one figure chose to reveal that his heart may not mend
Each visitor began to share an obscure memory, all their own
Of how they admired the man, soon to be ashes and bone

What would mystify the guests who reminisced as they spoke it
Was how each cherished memory drew life as they stoked it
“We were close as young kids and played ball in the street”,
Uttered a man who added, “his curve ball couldn’t be beat.”

They did not gorge on stiff drinks to carve an urge to confide
Nor try to confine the memories that were exploding inside
There was no terror in their eyes, no scoring of their pain
They felt the compassion that was present, not an ounce of disdain

Soon their thoughts began to emerge into those of finer fettle
They could not crush the raw grief but they began to feel better
No longer were they bound by the shadow of gloom
They listened and shared with others throughout the room

A guitar played – softly and sweetly they heard
The melodious tune was accompanied by a nearby songbird
Splashing with its flock in a blissful blue brook
Drawing smiles from the lingering guests and warm thoughtful looks.


Ruth Woolson was born in New Jersey but has made Denton, Texas, her home for almost thirty years. Her love for poetry began when, as a child, she read and illustrated her grandmother’s poetry journals. Her passion for poetry has continued throughout her life. She hopes to inspire her children and grandchildren to pursue their passions as well. Ruth’s poem, “For Now,” appeared in the Common Language Project 2018 anthology.