There were ghosts who had come to touch her, hear her musings
as she lay there reading aloud from the broken trees.
There were those who had come to hear her mispronounce
the names of God, each misplaced syllable another wound
through which they could have entered, could have tramped
barefoot back into life and been risen and at ease.
They would have laughed to nudge the snow wet roots of birches,
cried out to feel the cold rush against their skins, the sharp
quick pinch of thorns, the jay’s fierce cry, cried out in joy
when their blood welled and ran, and listened as she lay there
reading from out of the broken trees, pierced by the thousand voices
the names of God, each misplaced syllable another life
which in those ears, and in those spent and silent fields
took on the shape of being, the blue ferocity
of a jay, and spoke for her the life that she had lost.