The ferry shudders, slows, and stalls,
A strange stop in the middle of its run.
It’s Saturday morning and we look up and out,
Leave our laptops, books, children, ourselves for a moment
And see each other and the sea.

The water is rolling in a slow churn,
Because of the ferry or on its own, I can’t tell.
Above the water the passengers are also moving, stretching, walking, restless.
I notice who gets up, I see the group gather on the outer deck.

The water is calmer now, each wave erasing the last
Like steady hands caressing over and over again,
Catching the ashes and cradling them down,
Doing what we cannot do.

I see the people speaking,
I see them hold hands, I see them and I look away.
A sympathetic grief catches in my throat,
And the ferry’s three mournful blasts
Unfurling over the water are both
Sobs and songs that go on and on.

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