Following Directions

I am anxious, as you were
before your sudden release,
sudden last breaths. My turnoff
appears, so abrupt braking needed
(not good), but the car behind
is turning in, too.
You would have wished me
to glory in the beauty,
the quiet space, the lake,
the fully-leafed sky,
but we are human and are tied
to anxieties for what comes next.

Your service is perfect …
our a capella voices, the late day sun
through thick shards of dangled glass,
the stained glass rainbow,
the saints haloed and front-facing
all around us. The setting sun
blinds me on the way home,
as tears did earlier. I pray
you are truly freed at last
to see all that I miss along
this little-traveled country road
and then the congested highway.


Carol Hamilton taught 2nd grade through graduate school in Connecticut, Indiana and Oklahoma, was a medical translator and storyteller. She was Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has published and received various awards for 19 books and chapbooks of poetry, children’s novels, and legends. She has been nominated for Best of the Net and ten times for a Pushcart Prize.