in memory of G, a mystery

Strange woman, you left us
wondering who you were and
why you couldn’t go on.
I waited and waited and still
thought I had more time — these
things don’t happen to me —
the strong always survive —
this should be the fairytale.
It’s not. Your secrets were
your secrets — tiny new pearls
in the oyster of your life.
That mussel was enough for
me. You secrets are now eternal.

Brent and I still made noise
(the irritating chatter you always
hated). We didn’t even try not to,
hoping you’d sit up and tell us
to cut it out. We miss you.

I never found a new gold bug
for you and I am sorry. I’m not
sure I really tried. Probably not.

I do not think I was kind to you,
lovely woman. Reverent, yes.
Respectful, yes. Committed, yes.
But kind…? Dear woman, I loved
you deeply. I hate the days
I put off visiting. I hate that I wasn’t
there at the end for you, though
I know you felt me there —
I pray you were somehow comforted
by that.

When I saw you, you were weak — very weak.
You were artificially alive with tubes and knobs
and gauges and buttons — it wasn’t you in
that shell. I could see you fight; try to get back —
get back to what…? I know you didn’t want this.

I cried for you — hard. Some of the tears were guilt
(I never did enough). Most was pain — separation.
I never wanted you to go and I almost couldn’t take it.


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