Sestina for Carol

On the happy occasion of my second cousin’s birth
we were also visited by Death
it was almost hard to see the joy
flitting in and out behind the grief
we all felt ———-mixed-up
a funeral is no time for Wisdom?

We heard plenty of lines – wisdom
of the ages – saying death was birth
from this crazy ~~~~~~~~~~~~mixed-up
world – a new life, death
was not an occasion for grief
but instead for uncontainable joy

We strove to find the joy
we had heard, and could see the wisdom
of it- but all we felt was grief
at the thought. We gave birth
to new questions for Death
all of which he’d heard before mixed-up

with curses, mixed-up with prayers, mixed-up
in general, with the continued joy
of living even in spite of Death
stealing a source of Wisdom
from us, earned by an ancient birth
we lost the wise one with a jolt of grief

which, when~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~mixed-up
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(what joy)
was, there was~~~~~~~~~~~~~Death

death grief wisdom mixed-up joy birth

mixed-up joy birth.