Friday, January 21, 2011

242. On Friday Mourning

We are, maybe, a strange people,
as comfortable as we are
around the bodies of our dead.

It is always the living
we find difficult to deal with.

We have pictures now
of all of us and each of us
with your mother lying
quietly in her coffin

a bit plumper than she has been
in recent years and more comfortable
because her suffering has disappeared.

Death is the best remedy
for any disease, though
we don’t want it to be so.

Only you understand the end
of your mother’s suffering, because
only you were there for it.
You were our witness, and we know
it was a pitiless job, one designed
to wear you away. That it didn’t
succeed, that you stayed with us,
after so many years without sleep,
awaking every few hours to keep
our dear aunt breathing, means
that you have survived, that
the time has come for you.

To care for another person,
especially to care for one as you did
for your mother, is an honorable activity,
one that accepts the fact that
we are not here to be separate
from others, to live our lives
individually, but to live them
with others and for others.

You did this for your mother,
but now you are left with
the more difficult task,
one of caring for yourself.

Since you live in a place
that you do not understand
the magic of

(because I couldn’t learn it
without living away from it
for the decades that I have)

you should reconsider
the earth, the soil beneath
your feet

the scented earth
you walk upon each day.

Understand the scent of a place
and you will come
to understand what it means.
And to live among eucalyptus
is to live within the secrets
of the earth. You are a body
designed to perceive the sights
and scents and sounds around you

so take the time to accept them
to accept a new life for yourself

one unburdened
of the toil of caring for another
but one burdened by the loss
of that burden.

There are things we want
more than life itself, but
in the end we have to accept life.

You know this, I know,
but what else can I say
to thank you?

No comments:

Post a Comment