Waking

a leaf falling into a tree.
yellow bursting
from a bush.

and light, thin, broad
that is everywhere
and nowhere

contains me.

I went on a morning walk and saw things I haven’t seen in awhile. Getting up early gets life into your eyes. People are smiling at you. Children are walking to school. They glance up and look at your funny hat. We’re all aware of each other. I am charged for my day in a way I haven’t been in awhile. We can thank certain death, conviction, and coffee for that.

This morning also, I wrote a poem.

For Nana, Who Has Almost Passed

You were my only grandmother
and I wished I could have loved you better,
but some things are just not so.
You preferred, I think, my
mother’s older sister and her
daughter to me and my mother, and
that is OK.

The lesson of your passing is not in our past.

Last night, saying goodbye to you,
with Papa there, mom, and the hospice–
they stood by like shepherds
as I stroked your arm under the pink blanket
and read to you the poem by James Wright
about stopping to pet some horses
somewhere in Minnesota.

I read the poem to you as the book
trembled in my hand,
and my voice trembled
and I watched your eyes, still weather blue,
open for me.

They widened and glanced
and looked at me as I read; who can
know a look? Who can know what moves
in a locked mind?

But like a horse without
words you heard me;
and when I read the
incantation–the final
line–
“Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom”–
and we looked at each
other in a beating silence

It was clear I had no answers.

I was just a voice, strong & clear,
to help you on your way.
I finally, granddaughter,
had served my purpose.

February 2, 2010
-MAS

– – – – – – – – – –

Soundtrack: “Rebellion (Lies)” by the Arcade Fire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNfWC4Sgkcs

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