I raised it. I wrested it from the river's dim, convoluted depths:

a darkly glittering volcanic shard - my mother;

my formation; her histories

of magmatic eruptions, the vast gathered clouds and poorly settling debris.

They had become quiet at last, drowned and anchored in a chill green flow.

I lunged in again and again to prise it from the algae, which clung

as though it had birthed the thing. I wrenched and tore

and away it came in a flurrying blossom of mud,

the rock glinting and constraining my palms as I clambered on to the bank.

I eyed its every worked angle, twisting it in the sunlight, testing its triangulations, its flat

flats, its perfectly reflected dark visions,

and its one broad edge polished to a clear, flat meniscus.

A thick black break ran the depth of it, backwards, into its heart;

and from this, five small ruptures emanated like desperate little claw marks.

It was as though at these crucial points, as the ashes had blown

out of the door with her, we had all been removed

with precision

from the critical mass of her.

Remaining too, as absences - airy, imprinted.

She lived her life away.

A sputtering fire on the other side of a large curtain,

through which I later saw her pass, back into fire and ash.

Some power ballad hoovered up the howls: my brother and I bewildered

that after all her rage and mystery she had only

burned calmly like an ordinary person

and not exploded like Mount Tambora.

It was in a damp, encasing silence,

that I stared at the wilting flowers: blank irises,

overblown tiger lilies already browning at their tips.

My grandmother had insisted I take them: she had no use,

she growled, for all these damn blooms.

She would be emptying the urn another day

in one final, long, grey breath across a moor.

I don't know which one.

But washed downstream from it, deposited where I could find her - Here she is -

an instantaneous coalescence of her energy and matter,

bypassing the long, slow forge,

as she always, always did.

And now I have it - This darkly glittering shard – I raised it.

It is my mother.