When the sun is sinking low
the living gather at the river bank.
A widow wails her mantra out and into
the watery grave.
The Moon plays upon the wake of the burning boat
while at the bank mourners chant and dance
their faces obscured by the glow of the fire.
As the pyre disappears beyond the horizon
the young smoke herbs and chew kava
to make it easier to forget.
photo by Day Schildkret