Wednesday, February 09, 2005

For Claire

It's usually late Fall when we embrace
the cold of the dark morning,
gather the assortment of dried rose petals
we have been collecting since this time last year,
and visit your mountainside.

I knew you before I was introduced to
the ritual of your visit.
When your sister asked me to join
your family, I wanted to
cry inside.

For the past two years,
you have been this untouchable,
beautiful force.
undaunted and innocent,
you are in every conversation,
every dinner, every picture,
every day, and
I want to cry
because now,
you are in me.

I never thought I deserve you
(still, I do not),
but you embrace me
and surround my life.

So, in late Fall,
when the sun and moon are
arguing in the sky,
we visit.
I have never felt
such bitter cold and warmth
at the same time.
It smells clean
on your mountainside and
I can't help but smile
because this is no memorial for loves lost;
it is a memorial for life.

Rose petals
piled in my mitten hand
begin to take flight and dance in your whispers.
Can you feel the metallic underwater
of the dried petals?
They shine like a new watch
before they swirl downstream,
pinballing against your rocks.

Your sisters are beautiful and playful
as we all skip across your mossy meadow.
Mike compares us to animals:
children frolic first
for exploration, and
the watchful mother surveys
and protects.
Mike asked me to join him in the rear
as part of the male watch.
I was honored, but still wanted to play.

We are a family, and the cold
soon disappears, but the wind picks up
the more excited you get.
We laugh, play, and sometimes cry,
but we always take a picture
so we can tell others (less fortunate)
about your mountainside.

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