“Hey, Barbara. I’m not checking up on you… well, maybe I am checking up on you… hope you’re on the mend… shall I pick you up for poetry?” was the message I left on my friend Barbara’s voicemail the day before I learned she had passed away, without asking anyone’s permission, no less. Wasn’t that just like her?
Barbara was too full of life to really be gone, and in her unexpectent final days she planned her affairs, even her memorial, down to the finest details. She even had a hand in on the article that appeared in the Chestnut Hill Local. Now that was just like Barbara.
I leave you with this, My Friend, though you will never really be gone:
Baxter and Fiona stir
when brass strikes the door
of a home I call the museum
made of schist in Druim Moir.
Sculptures chiseled from whalebone and stone,
king cobra rises from the wood floor
across from the gilded grand piano
assorted opulent stitched pillows.
The painting of a boy on a roof is your son
watching geese fly south as the sun
goes down and rooms fall silent
in a nest made for kingdom come.
On our road trips to Osage
you shared with me scenes,
an abused horse named Mo
Holly trained for the show,
Write it down! I said
there’s no time to mourn
forget about structure and form,
forge the story that must be told.
Coax me now to write the next line
guide my hand from the other side.