Day 5: unmarked

a brag, a middle finger
at those ghost moments
that, when she was dying
burned again through her mind

so many years, her birthday
a crucible enduring, unpopular
outcast youth; beauty
seeking wings, and made cruel

she sang at Carnegie Hall
with grit built in backwoods
honed in bully-yards
defiant in second hand clothes

we who live on, count
in the balance, for her
the distance she rose
from beginnings we share

one tiny beau geste
in fields and hills filled
with unmarked heroisms
private worship of the One Song

her verse rang thirty-nine
years, and endures, as we
bear in mind the broad scope
any one life can encompass and sing

the measure is not unmarked
we all live with stories unsummed
and we made sure her gravestone says
She Sang at Carnegie Hall.

In memory of Catherine Sewell, April 5, 1962 – August 23, 2001

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