To Chris, with love …
Tonight I fell asleep, not knowing, thinking still;
wakened by the bells that bring good news
of friends, or strangers selling things
and never had I wanted more
an offer, something trivial, unnecessary, unwanted
more than this.
Cold and gentle, practical, carefully practiced
words that strung together like a sales pitch
that I had to buy, yet I’m ready, waiting and
expecting to accept because I have already
seen you earlier today and knew that it was time
we said goodbye.
We sisters shot our longbows side by side
and sent our gaily colored arrows leaping
into the sky to fall and split each other
in the circle, that tiny center where we often
found we were in tune, on target
bleeding red as one.
I’ll go to sleep again, as you already have
and in the morning I’ll awaken and nock
a shaft upon my string and draw an arc
of wood until I can’t hold back and let it fly
and pray you feel its fletching softly brush your mind
as you drift away.
Catch it if you can, hold it in your hand a while
and to your heart; you’ll know it’s one of mine
by crest and color, the marks of who we were
and who we want to be, so boldly hidden
in design but you will know, I know,
and wait for me.
October 9, 1948 – June 28, 2004