04  Apr
the day you died

a year ago i was in south dakota with one of my closest friends for many, many years — rita mayer … she had a rare form of leukemia and had had a stroke a week before i arrived … i was there for 5 days, mostly watching her sleep … she was in great pain and when she died the day after i returned home, it was a relief to know she wasn't feeling that anymore … the experience was extraordinary — especially the bond which grew between terry (rita's and my long-time friend) and becky (rita's good friend from san antonio) … they were her real care-givers at the end and i tried to make myself useful … rita and i shared a lovely moment when i had to leave for the airport and say good-bye …

 

 

(for rita)

the day you died
i didn’t know
what to do with my self
how would it now be defined
without our shared history
informing it
and our frequent phone calls
supplying your incisive perspective
on what my self was
and is
and could be?

and after the awful end
of your self
in its earthly form
flooded with pain
where it wasn’t frozen by stroke
unable to articulate
the simplest of thoughts
when it had delivered
consistently complex ideas
so eloquently
what was the meaning
of self at all
when you were no longer yours?

no
i didn’t know
what to do
with my sorry self
that day you died
so i tried
putting it to work
desultory attempts
to clean the house
answer email
or address some future issue
when everything
was the past
and how we shared it

posted by bill on April 4, 2012, at 10:40 am | filed under news, poetry | no comments »

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