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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When She Left

She spent her last days
in a foreign hallway
her house, her home, her monument
an empty eggshell
her light a maze of
shifting, muted forms

And yet she was there
she always was
she always will be

When the daylight left
on an early springtime day
it simply slipped off
toward other places
to other times, other ways
of seeing and feeling things

Leaving us behind, without ever
understanding what all meanings
might lie within the picture

A painting never fully painted
for the lack of a perfect
brush, for the want of
all the oils and chalk and
charcoals and sweat and blood
simply given away

A drawing etched in memory
complete only as far as
the heart can reach

Hers was a life of eyesight
felt through the heart,
reaching into places we
were all meant to share
but too few of us –
for some reason    
She ‘could never begin
   to understand’ –
ever looked

Every word we ever heard
every thought we ever had
was shaped through the
prism of her eyes
and their love of light
    and life and birds and…

And everything we never quite
  understood, yet knew
we had to search for

She became herself only through us
the way it should be
leaving behind this sweetest
measure of our failure:
our inability to be as good
as she never thought she was

And then the sadness of it
those eyes that cherished sunlight
 cruelly going blind

Until at last she wandered off
through shades of darkness lit only
 by the flickering reflections of a candle
and I awakened, confused, to the warmth
of an Easter morning sun stretched
across the back of a tired neck

Suggesting something missing
from a focus slightly shifted
toward some far and distant place

A little girl who grew
and drew and gave as if
she never owned, a lifetime left
in sketches fading into a stubborn
walk down that last long and
lonely darkened hallway

A light still burning so very brightly
as it always has
as it always will.

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