For Will, Who Shall Be Deeply Missed
How like him to depart
In late November,
The day after Thanksgiving,
When trees are bare and family,
Already gathered, was prepared
For winter’s incomplete rest.
I felt the chill of passing wind,
A tolling bell that assembled ancestors,
Shimmering behind the darkening
Pearl gray skies that cloaked the sun,
As though he rose from bed,
Flung the window open as he departed,
Paused in the privacy of his death,
Said his grateful prayers and
Ventured on toward his next journey.
Water flows, whether tears or rain,
To wherever it finds rest,
Waiting for the chance to turn again
Good Earth through grace,
Blessing, changing dry ground,
Dry lives into fair green, without explanation.
Those who loved him now press
Their memories to their hearts,
Waiting for that time when a
Great joining comes,
As early flowers in spring,
Bright with vibrant color,
All the richer for being rooted in the loss.
There are times I rise from sleep,
Take the mantle of waking thought
Heavy as known weight of toil of day,
The wandering course of divided path
Which splits the power of pain and pleasure—
Unequal portions, each breathing
With deep joy known
Through touch of loving hand.
What lives within this love outshines
All dreams of future days, all memories of the past,
Carries life into one full hour,
Populates my thoughts with wider paths,
Green and gold and mild, a weave of living landscape
Fixed not in fantasy but in the flesh of
One fine day, two lives— today.
Outstretched heart has outgrown younger years,
Pledged in course of easy breath…
The beating pulse, the tender face
Colored by a shining light.
Though time has deeper answers
Than one can know, still I look afar,
Write words of hope and love that soar—
Serenely trace the promise of
Another palm upon my own.
A different shadow than my own
Brings promised pleasure into view—
Present smile a calming presence, a company
Together in midst of wordless thoughts,
Passing whatever threshold comes
Hand in hand, slow steps with steady feet,
To face the destiny that clouded lies ahead.