We were saddened to learn of the death of Deborah Digges, who was fifty-nine, this past weekend. Her books of poetry were Vesper Sparrows (1986), Late in the Millenium (1989), Rough Music (1995), and Trapeze (2004). In her memory, we offer “Greeter of Souls.”
Greeter of Souls
Ponds are spring-fed, lakes run off rivers.
Here souls pass, not one deified,
and sometimes this is terrible to know
three floors below the street, where light drinks the world,
siphoned like music through portals.
How fed, that dark, the octaves framed faceless.
A memory of water.
The trees more beautiful not themselves.
Souls who have passed here, tired brightening.
Dumpsters of linen, empty
gurneys along corridors to parking garages.
Who wonders, is it morning?
Who washes these blankets?
Can I not be the greeter of souls?
What’s to be done with the envelopes of hair?
If the inlets are frozen, can I walk across?
When I look down into myself to see a scattering of birds,
do I put on the new garments?
On which side of the river should I wait?