Air currents (prevailing winds)
May have carried their ashes
Perhaps as far as England
So that Mister Brown’s roses or
Mrs. Jones’ vegetable garden near
Swansea might well have been quickened
By a butcher named Moshe or
A virginal young bride.
Who knows if perhaps some organic matter
Got into the sea and ended up here
In this city and helped the growth of greenery
On Table Mountain, Nature
Can do such things – the carbon
In our bodies, comes after all
From the far-distant stars.
Cruel six million
Coolly awaiting the resurrection
(Rambam’s thirteenth principal!)
Of the dead – your mixing
With the ecosystem seems in some way
Humanized, as it were.
So this new consciousness
Could well be your work
(No pathetic fallacy here!)
Nature no longer merely raped
But consulted, loved, husbanded
Man tenant never owner
(Guarding the garden)
As Jews were in the land.
You have become a memorial
Rather than a memory: yet knowing this
How can we not remember? You
Could be ghostly in birdsong
Visible in the rose;
After you we need to pay attention
After you landscape has a face.
Abe Casper 2011