Ghazals

My name in the black air, called out in the early morning.
A premonition dreamed: waking, I beheld a future of mourning.

Our partings were rehearsals for the final scene: you and I
in a desert, saying goodbye on a white September morning.

The call came. West, I flew west again. Impossible, but the sun
didn't move. I stepped off the plane and it was still morning.

I've always worn black. Now a blank whiteness outlines
everything. What shall I put on this loneliest of mornings?

You've left an envelope. Inside, your black pearl earrings
and a note: Your grandmother's. Good. In ink the color of mourning.

I remember the songs you used to sing. Blue morning glories on the vine.
An owl in the tree of heaven. All of my childhood's sacred mornings.

Your mother before you. Her mother before her. I, before my daughter.
It's simple, I hear you explain. We are all daughters in mourning.

I was your namesake, a firstborn Elizabeth entering
the world on a May morning. I cannot go back to that morning.

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