Farewell To A Friend

“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?


Entrance to Barbara’s beloved enclave of Druim Moir in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, the setting of her Museum.

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:

Liven Good

for Barbara

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.




About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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