death,  Love,  Poems,  Poetry

Winter’s Song

Winter comes in quiet, stage left, light focused elsewhere, and waits.
She knows her line is coming, her nerves tumble around inside her
She is a subtle addition to a lovely scene of oranges and browns and dark green

As the players fall back after Autumn’s brilliant number, she moves on shaky feet
When she steps into the spotlight everyone gasps – she is stunning
Her homemade gown flings sequins in an orb around her as she finds her mark

Standing now on solid feet, knees bent so she won’t faint, she listens for her cue
Which is up to her: a break in silence whenever she senses we are ready
She revels in the hush, in the cough from the back and the slight rustle of a program

She draws a breath and we watching open our eyes a little wider
And wring our hands because we are afraid this is the end
Her voice does not shake, every ounce of her believes what she is saying

“Oh, sweet creation, beloved ones, I see you in your grief
For when death came she brought you grace and offered some relief.
And now that season’s ended and instead you just have me
The After Death, the covering, the end of all you’ve seen

And it must feel a little cruel, my coming in this way
Sweeping in after myriad colors to bring it all to gray
And I admit, I have no patience, I come before the solstice
But it only for my eagerness to offer you a solace

For in the after world of death, you have no other option
On purpose or in harm, my loves, to feel your deepest losses
So I will bring a canvas and cover up your view
For you to find the story of the world that you once knew

I’ll hide the parts remaining of deaths now less mystified
And let you find your meaning here in homes by firesides
I’ll push you to look inward, to rediscover hearth
I’ll suffer your bemoaning as you neglect my worth

My biting chill a respite from pretending you don’t ache
And all that isn’t growing forces use of what you’ve saved
A lesson you must learn again, that all is temporal here
The pain is too, my little ones, and mixed in with the cheer

My pleasure is my purpose, I am not a happy song
But joy abides full in me, as you know, who’ve suffered long
My offering is time and space to tend to all your wounds
And as you convalesce, my dears, I am busy making room

For what comes next will comfort, restore some parts now lost
A shameless celebration will come glittered in death’s frost
She is a friend, I trust her, but you’re not ready now
To see what could have never been if the worst was not allowed”

Her voice is generous, filling the room, the orchestra swells in minor key
And we remember every other time we have attended and who brought us
Or who we brought and whose hand we wish we could squeeze at this part

The final notes finish ringing and she lingers after them, a favor
A few moments to dab our eyes and regain composure and bend our necks
To see what figure is now behind her moving forward into the light.


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