Friday, June 27, 2008


For H.S.

My beautiful daughter stands

like a painting by Rosetti, red hair

stealing the light by the stars

of the Chinese mallow, blooming

even in the parking lot of death

this sullen century. She is

a generous lantern, here in

the troubled garden, young as we were

in the Asian war when we loved

each other in innocence & lust.

It’s a long time, decades

like told beads, & you watching now

by the body of a dying woman

by the breaking of the bones

by her disconcerted living & her

morphined dreams, by her pain

crying, by her scarred & tender skin

by her lists of doctors & the light

of morning, by her windows of departure

by the sparrows of kindness

by the small leaves falling

by your hungry soul, by the questions

of wires, by the tubes of desire

by the circles of the final flights

& see, here, beyond us all

in this moment

the blue heron still spreads out her wings

like a last breath

never published, not one of my best, though I like some of the lines in it well enough; it was framed as a passing prayer for a first love who was at the time watching his companion die a long and slow death. Oddly, when I sat with another dear love a few years later, helping her make her own passage, I told her when she wondered if she could do it, if she could die, that as the moment came she would have no trouble. "You will just lift away, as the herons do" I said. As she passed I had stepped out with her dog, to allow her daughter to be with her at that last moment. The dog and I walked by the river, where as the sun set and we turned to come back a heron lifted up, stretching its beautiful wings, and I said goodbye to my dear friend.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home