The Burial (For Martha Hillard Macleish)

LIFE relinquishing, by life relinquished —
O but the young tart quick beating
Life in your heart, my mother — O and sweet —
Where will they put that down among these mingled
Soot-stained grave-stones here? Or do they think
The thirst is gone now and the apple eaten?
Do they think the journeys, like your feet,
Are still? And is it so? The one, the single
Answer that the bird makes to the hill —
Had your heart, asking, heard it? Was it done?
Life you never finished, did your life
Finish, my mother? Was all suddenly still,
All understood, all answered and all one:
Young girl, old woman, widow, mother, wife?