To M.M.H. (A Memorial Poem) by Red Haircrow

Valley After the Storm by Red Haircrow
Valley After the Storm by Red Haircrow

It’s always hard to lose a close friend. Someone you genuinely liked because they were a funny, interesting and intelligent person, especially who’d endured decades of a disease slowly killing them piece by piece, yet always had a quip if they could speak, or a special look in their eyes even when they couldn’t.

A person I considered that sort of friend died in August, and I only received the news this week. The loss was devastating but even more so in that I didn’t know until now, and the partner that was left behind whom I also liked and respected, I hadn’t known to say a word of comfort and commiseration.

It leaves you quiet, and for me, contemplative for she could have lived decades more, her mind was just as sharp as it ever was when I last saw her only two months before she passed, it was the body that failed. Trapped in a motionless shell, the mind was still alive until the lungs shut down and took everything else with it.

Though I grieve, I know she’s already there. And the next time she opens her eyes she’ll be a girl again, and she’ll be able to run and laugh, and all the things she hadn’t been able to do for over twenty years. As I told her husband, she’s already there waiting for you. You’ll see her again.

To M.M.H.
(Septemer 24, 1943-August 8, 2011)

I remember the summer as gold,
as the cows wandered the
fields waiting for hay to be baled,
in the valley as the heat
made the blue sky nearly white
and the shadows of the few trees a purple bruise
on the back of the arm where you can’t see.
And she lay and looked from the window
because that’s all she could do,
but finally her body couldn’t go on
though her mind was as bright as the sun,
and her eyes a sparkling hue.

–Red Haircrow

28 October 2011