Saturday, April 30, 2011

a poem for a Saturday.

I found a scrap of paper as I was cleaning up my room last night, floating to the surface of the tide of flotsam and jetsam that fills that bedroom. It must have been tucked into a letter from my friend Ana, written when we were young. "A Wednesday Poem," it says. A handwritten note on the back suggests that we have 'Wednesday poems' every week, but somehow I think this tradition never took hold. It seemed serendipitously appropriate to find this at the end of a week of grieving for a friend, who died Monday afternoon. The letter I had been writing the Sunday before is in my bag, unfinished. I wrote another letter to her daughter, instead, late Monday night, still reeling from the news.

Day brings what it is going to be. Trees -
wherever they are - begin to stand.
I have a crossing to do today
onward through this shadowy land.

How still the earth stayed that night at first
when you didn't breath. I couldn't believe
how carefully moonlight came. It was
like the time by my mother's grave.

Today I am going on. In former times
when you were back there, then
I tried to hold the moon and sun.
Now when they ask me who you were -

I remember, but remember my promise
And I say, "No one."

Letting You Go.
(William Stafford).

My friend loved poetry; when her children were young she put poems in their lunchboxes every day in April, which is National Poetry Month. In return, they started a blog of poems for her at the beginning of this month, the three now grown children choosing a different poem each day. She died before April came to an end. This friend loved many poets, but her favorite poem was another one by William Stafford, posted here.

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