I wrote this poem on the morning of a memorial service for a dear friend’s husband, thinking about her, and another woman left widowed, and of yet another sweet friend who was about to make her transition (and who did leave us on September 16). Days of intense deep feelings as my community supports each other in grief, and in honoring great souls we have known and loved.
for M, M and M
A tall woman speaks the vision of her own death:
a redwood topples into waiting arms of the surrounding grove
is held, like bow to cello, suspended. An indelicate wind
rubs her deeply-grooved bark against the bark of her kin,
a keening song.
A hummingbird of a woman wants to hurry death along:
she is enjoying eye-candy of this world, but is weary,
at last sinking into her own shadow. She strokes
the eyebrows, the downy cheeks of her visitor
who kisses the oh-so-thin forearm, skin transparent
as a Cosmos petal. They repeat to each other I love you,
I love you, and goodbye.
A woman who plays cello, a woman who sings
face a morning when the clouds do not break. Their tribe
gathers to help roll aside one boulder of grief after another.
There is nothing else to be done. All of us, in our way,
are waiting to fly.