Tuesday, September 27, 2016

For Nicole

For Nicole

The phrase "a heavy heart" 
never struck me before.
I feel it now.
The lowest chambers
of my heart sinking
into my gut,
the grief settling there
with a mournful melody.

It has been one week.

One week of being startled
over and over and over
by the (un)reality of her absence.
An absence that goes
beyond blankness
into the realm of void
and vacuum.

One week of memories
tripping and falling,
nipping at my heels:

Our daily song began first thing,
herding kids off to school,
five minutes stretching
to many hours
of gliding fluidly
from one yard to another
pushing a swing, catching a ball,
soothing a hurt, nursing a baby...
without missing a beat
without dropping a note.
The afternoon movement
a crescendo -- more kids,
homework, guarding the alley,
making dinner --
hers planned for the month
mine always a surprise.

She is still here in
the high frequency
of our duet --
joys, sorrows,
depths, shallows --
an eternal vibration.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ode to a Lovely Maple

  • Shifted light
    leaves me off - kilter
    out of balance

    Last night we dined
    "en plein air" as we do,
    unable to stop gazing up up up
    at the dizzying absence.

    Before they had finished
    chopping, chipping,
    my daughter and I
    ran to measure --
    our arms encircling
    her wide expanse --
    a farewell embrace.
    14 feet 2 inches!
    How long was she standing
    watching over this house
    so steadfastly?

    We first stepped inside
    one golden June afternoon,
    sunlight dancing and jumping
    in glittering patches
    across the wood floors.
    Through humid summers
    her vast canopy shielded us
    from the heat,
    keeping our rooms
    deliciously cool.
    Each October brought a burst
    of flame, bathing us all
    in shimmering yellow.
    She shook each last leaf
    to carpet the grass,
    benevolently brightening
    the months of darkness.

    Disoriented, I mourn
    my faithful friend
    in this new,
    alien space.
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