Naomi Shihab Nye - The Grieving Ring

When word of his death arrived
we sat in a circle for days
crying or not crying

long ago in the other country
girls balanced buckets
on their heads

now the old sweet water
rose from the spring
to swallow us

brothers shrank
children grew old
it felt fine to say nothing
about him
or something small

the way he carried
oranges and falafel
in his pockets

the way he was always
slightly mad

what he said to each
the last time
we saw him
hurt the worst

those unwritten letters
banging each head
till it felt bruised

now he would stand at the mirror
knotting his tie
for the rest of so many lives