—for my father
Quiet as night
Twisting in the breeze of stars,
You place feathers for me to find:
In the garden, my book bag, a desk drawer.
These soft blades of mourning
Carve a space in the air for us to meet.
Sweet silence. Sweet stillness.
Tonight, on this cliffside path,
My flashlit footsteps make
The small stones speak.
I cannot see it but the ocean is here
Like the heaviness your absence leaves,
An anchor sinking, unraveling its chain.
There is beauty in this—a merciful peace
That disrobes the shadows around me,
Steadies my gait.
As I wander among the cypress in the dark,
You are stones painted white, marking my way
Home to a place I’ve never lived,
Under constellations fixed in skies
I’ve yet to know.
Kelly Cressio-Moeller’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Poet Lore, Crab Creek Review, Rattle, Boxcar Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Southern Humanities Review, and Pirene’s Fountain among others.