Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I lost my sister to a violent death. She was taken from us by another, an angry other, but I try to block that from my mind and recall memories of her. I want to remember HER today, this anniversary of her death. I want to remember who she was, not how she died, struggling and fearful. My mother talks about those last moments of her life and I tell her that what I know in my heart to be true, and only in my heart: Angels came into that room while he was strangling her; they carried her to a more beautiful, serene place of peace while her body remained in the dying.
Ten years have past and I dig in my vaulted memory for the tenderness, her giggle, her playfulness, her, her, her...JuneBug. I am sad today. My soul calls out to her today with loud screaming voice, an aching wail, a sorrowful melody.
This poem by Carl Sandburg comforts me.
I REMEMBER once I ran after you and tagged the fluttering
shirt of you in the wind.
Once many days ago I drank a glassful of something and
the picture of you shivered and slid on top of the
And again it was nobody else but you I heard in the
singing voice of a careless humming woman.
One night when I sat with chums telling stories at a
bonfire flickering red embers, in a language its own
talking to a spread of white stars:
It was you that slunk laughing
in the clumsy staggering shadows.
Broken answers of remembrance let me know you are
alive with a peering phantom face behind a doorway
somewhere in the city's push and fury
Or under a pack of moss and leaves waiting in silence
under a twist of oaken arms ready as ever to run
away again when I tag the fluttering shirt of you.
photo credit: Diane Varner dianevarner.com