Sunday, October 25, 2009

see, feel, pass on the light . . .

Our colleague, Jim Henderson, lost his mother last Friday, after a long slipping away. Here is what I wrote to him, of him, in honor of him:

a long greying

today, as the sun sets, it reveals itself
with bright beams who find the slowly turning trees around us,
the world all on the verge of sharpness and contrast,
so unlike the grey wash that has been this drizzly day,

some days slip gently away from us
when shades of grey slip softly into each other
and it only slowly dusks on us
that day has become night,

I have lost a parent in such a long greying
and done my best to tend the fire of herself
so increasingly banked and hidden from me,
I had to hold my memories of midday and afternoon
and throw my love into the obscuring dark
in echo of that earlier gleam,
in search of the coals that I know must still smolder,

so much of the source of my light
that I shine as brightly as I can?
my mother--
who slipped,
and slipped,
and slipped away,
I feel Jim’s pain
and I honor the beams of his light
that he cast after his mother, his father,
and toward so many of us time after time,

may we each see, feel, and pass on the light,
and when our own light fades away
we should feel comfort in imagining the lights of others
who still flare brightly.

by Henry Walker
October 24, ‘09

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