Cliff Saunders

Mask of Grief

It’s fall and I feel called to return
to the blue dust plume of my friend

the memory to heal my soul. I’d like
to see holes—not the sweet kind

but wet and cold. As organ grinders
ride in truck beds to where context

is everything, I move through the paces
of life like a river running against itself.

I have boards to thank for my broken heart.
Crying out for darkest winter, I reach

for a fence but fall on bended knee.
I visit even the worms now in the temple

of secrets, where I guard memory,
the last mud to smother in a glass jug.

Lighting the way to new stars,
I’m a harvest moon wearing a mask of grief.

© Cliff Saunders

Cliff Saunders is the author of several poetry chapbooks, including Mapping the Asphalt Meadows (Slipstream Publications) and This Candescent World (Runaway Spoon Press). His poems have appeared recently in Bryant Literary Review, Atlanta Review, Qwerty, Lullwater Review, Monterey Poetry Review, Blue Unicorn, Common Ground Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. Originally from Massachusetts, he now lives in Myrtle Beach, SC.

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