You cannot sum up a life inside a hand-turned urn.
His ashes were delivered, ‘twas an urn.
Poplar; turned by hand, smooth artisan care.
Reduced to dust, it does not ease the burn.
I stood upon the porch, breathed in cold air.
A life cannot be summed up in this way.
To hold one’s dearest heart within two hands
The measure of man in wood and clay
Is not six pounds of ash upon a stand.
All that one can do is love; love and lead.
To make a goddamn difference is life’s end
He fought that daily battle, doth succeed?
‘Ere he went no one he met was not friend.
In times of death, sadness, and of sorrow,
The trail he cleaved will gleam on the morrow.
-David L. Stanley. January 2019