|Lake Washington, c. 2012|
A poem on my mother's death, October 8, 2014.
Just this morning the sun rose sparkling on the lake
and as the day warmed the small birds returned
to the feeder outside your window.
You opened your eyes as I embraced you
and raised your arm bone-thin with infirmity
to rest it across my back and weakly murmured
I’d love a hug.
I cradled your head in my fingers
the bone smooth as stone under your silver-feather hair.
I watched the birds flutter and struggle for the gift of seeds
watched the cross of waves on the lake
thronging in haste to parts unknown.
With us there is no hurry.
Now is to be still, to breathe with you, to feel
for a few more hours your hand still warm in mine
to pour my words of love into the fragile cup of your
and then again be still with you
all the world in movement except here
hovering in quiet sorrow.
Now purple with oncoming night the lake rests
A glowing opal ring of light,
the small birds have gone to their secret nests
the feeder hangs emptied of its trove.
I have no more words but those I’ve said before
I love you I hear you I am with you to the end
and now to let you go,
small bird gentle wave,
I will sleep in my nest beside your bed
and wake to find the sun has risen
and you are gone.
October 10, 2014
Lake Washington, c. 1940