scattering

they had come to the island
to scatter the ashes
daughter
son-in-law
husband

about to leave Thailand
and not yet found
a fitting time and place
to fulfill
the dead woman’s
last wishes

the beach she named
had turned into
a scuba resort
bars
music
hedonism

I had just come from a monastery
yells
bells
smells

a chance encounter
lead to an impromptu service
at first light

we had a little fire
we had incense
and chanting
time for people
to say their bit
to remember
to cry

it came to the part
where she poured out
grey remains powdered
a life in the surf

this daughter returned
she laughed and cried
at the same time

I felt the aching heart
of the world
embracing everything

beach scattering