Literary Journal – Fall 2016

Mourning Dove

By Meredith Betz

Where you and I once loved
and the mourning dove sipped at edge of the pond
wraith vapors ascend into a desolate void.
I weep into a tearless reservoir.
Too weak to remain,
I plummet,
drowned in the dust that fouls the earth
that sings
“Ashes, ashes we all fall down.”

the twilight sours the barren land
while swarming remnants of the living
drop one by one onto the blistering plain.

You are there
guardian of the famished
as you would be
unvanquished still
stringing spent fronds into an
amulet necklace
while a parched mourning dove waits
on the pond’s bank
and you keen for the lost.

Meredith Betz is a former high school Communications/English teacher whose avocation is coaching students of all ages in writing and delivering presentations. Currently she writes for the Nonprofit Quarterly. Her vocation is executive coaching and organizational consulting to for profit and nonprofit organizations.