Now I bow my head,
for I have grown old
on the shore of Lake Superior,
and my secrets will outlive me.
In the cedar chest in our bedroom
are still my wife’s finely folded
winter clothing, and the rugged scent
of cedar oil and the lake.
All I have kept of her is in this chest,
her elegant handwriting, her journals,
the book of black and white
photographs of her childhood.
She wanted me to remember her young
and beautiful, steady and graceful;
not the moments of pain,
but a butterfly with wings.