April 12 – a poem for Alexine

Grace

Neither divine nor rare, perhaps unexpected,
rarely unearned, Grace

is our brightest courage shone back at us.

She learned to trust by trusting the horse
hurtling both of them over fences and walls.

And when Rosie died, she found, in her grief, she was
not alone. Rosie’s friends, people who came to the pasture,

people she had never suspected, stopped their cars to say
I’m sorry, she was so beautiful, we loved her.

Grace, too, is how the cumulative weight of these
awkward laundry baskets of bricks grief thrusts
into arms after arms is lighter

than gravity’s unbearable bulk each, separately,
knows could not be borne.

So light it can come to shine out
nearly as brightly as spring sunshine

on a chestnut mare’s back.

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