The Milky Way


A waning gibbous moon glows red
above the granite cliffs.  In the bay,
warm rain embraces and interweaves
into the sleeves of the ocean waves.

Tell me the story again, she rasps.
The nurse and I plump her pillows up
behind her head and wheel her bed
to the window.  I grasp her hand

as I retell the Algonquin legend:
how spirits of the departed travel along
a path of stars to the twelfth heaven
to be with the maker of all things.

Her eyes close.  Then silence –
only the hoo-hooing of an owl
perched on a branch of a black yew
and the patter of coastal rain.

Mary Franklin’s poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Ink Sweat and Tears, London Grip, Message in a Bottle, The Open Mouse and Three Drops from a Cauldron, as well as in several anthologies by Three Drops Press.  She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.