Sunday, October 25, 2009

Morning Glow

This is what I said when I shared this poem with you before:

She was my playmate, my friend, my competitor, my companion, my sister. She was Jean.

She was the firstborn of the second marriage of our mother, a distinction which meant nothing to us in those years of beginnings, nor in all the years that were to follow.

Because of the proximity of our births, we were always close, even when miles separated us ... even when adult responsibilities intruded and took us down our separate paths, there were letters and phone calls ... and those memories we shared.

We grew up separately, but together, too. There was always that cord, that connection that kept it so.

I was the big brother to her, she the little sister to me. I was the protector, the hero, the example ... roles I little deserved, and almost never lived up to. But I relished the position that put me in. All older brothers seem to.

She was the example to me ... of hard work and persistence, of a person whose sense of humor never flagged in the face of obstacles ... a fine example of honesty and devotion ... of all the good things a person should be.

She was my inspiration ... and I tried very hard to be hers.

But now she is gone ... her suffering ended ... her earthly journey over.

And the memories come flooding back ... memories of hard times in those early years, yes ... but mostly memories of the good times we had ... or dreamed of having ... those good memories which well up at a time when they are needed most.

I think of the games we played ... the places we explored ... times we had visits with each other ... where we walked ... and ran ... and sat quietly together ... brother and sister ... enthralled by this world we were just beginning to discover ... little knowing what lay ahead ... but willing to meet it full-tilt, to make it ours.

And this morning, as I'm being consoled by the good memories, I have a poem I would like to share.

I was privileged to have shared it with Jean ... and she liked it ... as she (wonderful sister) liked so much of what I did ... I hope you will like it, too ... may find a measure of comfort in its word pictures, as I do now:


The geese go sauntering
across the ice, distant dark objects
moving away from us and open water
where they’ve had a morning dip,
a drink, a taste of the coming spring
that will bring matings, nestings,
new beginnings.

But now they’re frozen
in memory as we watch them
from the windowed warmth
of this place beside the lake.

We watch them, arrogant creatures,
still going, sure-footed and confident,
away from us, like a dozen old men,
hands behind their backs, strolling
in the morning glow, quietly
trading stories they’ve heard before. 
 © 2002

(received an honorable mention in Dayton Metro Library Poetry Contest)

Today's word: memory