The Post and Courier Prize
Winter 2006
Aly Goodwin

Written Sitting in the Ruins of Old Sheldon Church,
St. William's Parish, Beaufort County, South Carolina,
16 October, 2004


When I die
bring my ashes here.
I want to lie
within the remaining pink
brick Corinthian walls,
blow about
when wind
sets walnuts raining
down
to the grass floor

like sermons neither of us
has ever heard and therefore
is not likely to forget,
and you'll know what to do,
for salt water swells and wanes
in your veins as in mine
and you long to get back to the sea.
And this is the closest we may ever get,
my ashes eventually limited to four corners
of a twice-burned church with no roof
and the better for it, yours drifting softly
toward the wrecked pirogue from childhood
fifty years rotting at the bottom of a salt marsh
nearby,
finally washed
to China with the tide.

Today
I stole
a loose
brick
as collateral.
©2006 Aly Goodwin