I watched a friend take her last breath today.
We prayed, ‘Hail Mary’ and the “Our Father’
Then she passed…
I miss her terribly.
Unfair, at least to my understanding now.
Unfair to me.
She was fried chicken,
She was “riding around”,
Music on the radio.
We talked of ‘new loves’,
With new hopes,
As we shared our dreams.
She was simpler times,
Long phone calls,
She was late night rescue,
Stranded from dates
She was laughter at oddity
Of pregnant bodies
And invisible feet…
She was death,
The painful recognition of
The ugliness of disease…
She was the beauty
Of the spirit, shinning past
All the let-downs of cancer…
She was a lifetime friend
You never ask for,
Only recognize a lifetime late…
As I sit by her bed,
Watching her breath,
And my tears are for me.
I think it was chocolate mahogany
large rounded carved ornate legs
coming down under the broad leaf table.
Grandma made the green gingham tablecloth spread across
over a protective plastic lining beneath.
Seven places for the family in the evening meal,
three generations of grandparents, parent, children,
head of the table Granddaddy sat quiet, not saying much.
At the other head, was Grandma; she would talk about the day.
Who did what when, and “lord, it is hot today.”
Mother sat in the middle of my little sister and me.
She often didn’t say much, when she did, it was measured.
My older sister sat across from me with her light brown hair,
blue eyes that never smiled.
Next to her, my brother, with his dark hair and light eyes,
glancing often to the criticism that came his way.
There was a lot of pain at the table at Grandma’s house.
The pain was from the very person who was not present.
It was a gift of my father before he left …
The sun would set in the evening over the table of love.
But it didn’t take away the darkness that no one spoke about.
© copyrighted: 2002 CMM