They said a dead man rose again
coincidentally at the same time
morose yet dainty over the stream
admiring their beauty and falling in
with that beautiful boy
and at the same time a woman
ascended a stairway carved of gems in the earth
and when her iron-crowned head peaked over
rising as the first wheat shoots
her mother only saw the little girl
she had been.
We come back again, the stories say,
or some did so that we may follow.
But you’ll never be just a carpenter again
running your hand over the grain
and checking the level
and you’ll never be that little girl again
who thoughtlessly plucked the most wondrous flower
instead of letting it live.
They never tell you this about the spring:
We come back, but we come back different
with holes in our hands through which the water pours
with holes in our feet for the ones who turn back
with holes in our hearts for those we could not save
and for those who return only as an echo
of someone they valued more.