my gliding beauty,
you walked an inch off the ground.
You could enter a silent room
without making a sound.
In a market of black-robed women,
you were the first to be found.
We walked as one,
and when we knelt
with our heads touching the ground,
you pressed your shoulder into mine
in perfect unison
as we bent down.
I bless your grace and your profile
your blood mixed in Iran,
those two Iraqi pools
that peeked out from clasped hands.
We were just so new, two women who loved
that we stopped our own heartbeats
I trace circles on your arm to the chanted prayers of the Quran.
Every twisting curve I make is a switchback in our extraordinary timeline..our history written by a weaver,
a true believer,
and you believed,
that all that was laid upon your back,
you could shoulder,
and not only support it, but walk carrying it proudly.
Outside is Texas not Iraq,
but you sigh peacefully and ask for mercy,
god’s mercy after a lifetime of struggle…
the short straw in the deck of life…
even your lifeline stops half way down your palm.
who else in my life could have showed me the hidden gift of loving another,
as I learned to love you?
From your lips I learned a language a culture, a truth.
Your children were your wealth and your reason to live, to seek, to dream, to cross borders so that they might have a better chance..a better role in Life’s play.
And now today I watch you prepare to set sail, your closed eyes opening slowly like spinnakers unfolding, and you look upwards, the purified face of one who is being carried to the other shore, and your last breath is the wind that finally fills them and they snap and billow, and there you go…you depart and glide away.
July 3, 2012
Community Memorial Hospice
*My greatest muse, my deepest friendship, a truth more rare than fiction.
Gone From My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
And that is dying…