Friday, March 16, 2012
Loss of Grace
Stale smoke hanging in the air, like cooled grease a top a day old soup.
Lonely, longing, my mother is staring out the front window. I don’t know what she feels.
I can see it in her face, in her movement.
Can hear it in her silence. Yet I don’t know it.
I want to say something,
But I merely walk through, dispelling the cloud.
Yesterday we buried her mother. The wind so cold, hot tears burn and freeze,
And the simple pine box forlorn and tragic in the blistering snows.
So often we use the word tragedy for situations that have nothing to do with tragedy.
A sudden untimely death is terrible yes, but it is not the fall of hero. Not the desolation
Of a noble soul brought to its knees by fallen nature. But a little grandmother, not breaking 90 pounds,
Why does this feel like tragedy?
No fatal flaw, except the loss of immortality so long ago in that ancient grove.
Her leaving has diminished me and I feel my flaw will be her absence.
I do not envy her though, as I have other friends. Their deaths seem
Blind. I understand them only because I long to join them.
Each morning and night, even as I simply eat lunch, I think of these things,
A struggle I wish I had the courage to be done with.
But this little grandmother, her blue eyes so clear at the end,
Made me want to be and to give.
To see the struggle for knowledge and to love it.
To cradle each beautiful word lovingly.
To love and be loved.
These things only I understand, but how to explain it to another?
Each day, the little things, the foolish words --
An I hate you, a Why don’t you just leave, a Someone has to be in last place, a You think you’re so smart --
Gnaw mercilessly at that glimpse of passion,
Wearing away, breaking down, drawing breath from breath,
And then, again, as I think of these things, I wonder why
She finally struggled so before the end
And why she stayed so long.