Back to Life

The Etruscan tomb rests in a weathered grove

of twisted olive trees.

You descend steep steps

and find the giant stone slabs,

lichen-pocked and speaking silently 

of human life and death. 
Looking up from the tomb

you see the trees have made a ring 

around you at the top. 

The sun paints the pale green

and the deep cypress 

with the gentle, deep gold of 

the dying day. 
In the tomb, we listen. 

We wait. 

We remember the dead

and imagine our own 


We sing “hallelujah.”

And then, 

we climb out
to witness the harvest moon

plump as a ripe apricot 

resting on the horizon-

strata of indigo

and violet. 

The sight makes us 


with wonder. 
Later, in wide bed,

I dream that my love,

my husband 

came back to life. 

“Look,” I tell others:  

“We don’t know how 

this miracle came to be!  

But, he came back to life 


he is not coughing!”
Here he is now, 

with a new chapter 

to write

to love. 

Who breathes again?

What heart pumps blood 

and gives sense and

movement into

the new?
I will be living

into the answer

for the remainder 

of my days. 

©Laurie Lynn Newman


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