Tuesday, April 7, 2015

how she is herself

Brenda Ann Shannon Harvey

Brenda has known how to be herself throughout her life,
from her willfulness to not even conform
to what to wear in a photograph,
despite the Congressional life her stepfather lived,
a life true to him but not to her,
to the courage to fight the disease 
that holds to her now like a leech,
throughout her life I hear of a giving, selfless woman 
who leads with her heart,
and who finds joy in a tree, a snail, a river, a sand castle,
and now so much in her granddaughters, Isabelle & Roan,
others who live life fully and well,
who also exult in the physical and in whatever ways
each can live life fully,

dance, physical education, sports have long called to Brenda
as student, as teacher, as grandmother:
exulting in any news of Isabelle & Roan in soccer or swimming,
enjoying any walk together,  both for her own health
and for unwrapping the present of seeing how the new editions see,
the apples of her daughter and son so like her own tree,

and the apples of her granddaughters continue the best 
of how she hopes herself to be,
who can know the prices she has paid:
what it took to have to use main strength
to persevere into academic success, despite challenges,
to raise children with all the effort that has to entail,
to love those children so much
and yet to set them free to find their own ways,

as her life is now in autumn,
I hope she can appreciate herself 
and the light she has brought, and still brings, 
to the world, to her family,
to her granddaughters whose lives should be amazing,
significantly so because of the extraordinary way 
in which Brenda has lived,
and continues to live, her wondrous life.

by Henry H. Walker
March 27, ’15

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