Ritualwell

Tradition & Innovation

Perspective: Matot-Massei

a close up picture of ocean water
Each stands before their own 
River Jordan.
A steady stream of people
Standing along a narrow edge.
Turn our head,
In any direction,
And recognize 
Our fellow travelers, there.
 
There was a man, yesterday,
In the graveyard
Where I was eating my sushi lunch,
In the near-quiet of the street.
 
“I have autism,” he says,
“I will probably say too much.”
 
His mother was buried
Ten days ago.
He was returning from an interview
With our national paper.
His mother was an eminent feminist scholar; 
“A woman in charge.” 
“An Order of Canada recipient.”
 
She chose from the roster of physicians
Who would serve in her MAID.
 
“She wanted a woman,” he said.
Consistent with a solid life’s work.
 
In the finest detail,
One talent of such a mind,
He calculated the time,
Following the final of her four medications.
Comfort, enough, 
To sing her over.
 
In rousing baritone,
A man with his beard
In two unequal braids,
A homemade walking stick, 
A couple necklaces,
And a few too many bracelets,
Pants tucked into rubber boots, 
On a dry and warm summer’s day,
Pacific Ocean glinting,
Between sentinels of trees, 
Sang to me, 
The sea shanty
Of his mother’s
Last, and eventual, 
Wave.

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