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I think the beauty that is good poetry should be accessible, so I share at least one poem a month with my newsletter folks. If you support me on Patreon, you'll also get a copy of my first book of poems, coming by December 2016. You can get some other nifty rewards too, including a wearable poem and a frameable poem. And hey, if you think of other rewards, let me know! 

When I said I though poetry should be accessible, I meant it. You don't have to sign up for anything to get this one. I wrote this in honor of my mom's life. She was a professor, astronomer, and gardener, and she struggled to live mindfully in spite of multiple myeloma for 7+ years. I shared this with family & friends at her memorial service in 2014.

 
legacy

 

There is a hole near the center of this web I call my life

So near that sometimes I cannot see it

And before I think, I want to tell you

About the raven feather I found on a hike.

 

And I cannot. You are no longer contained

in a body with a phone that has a number I can call

So you know what you know and the rest...

the rest is up to me now.

 

And to fill this hole where you were will take years.

It will take a life well lived and a thousand thousand memories of you,

in joy and sorrow and wind and firelight.

It will take more courage than I have.

 

It will take each of you, here, today,

telling the people you love just how much you love them.

It will take your gardens blooming with all the colors of the rainbow.

It will take unthinkable acts of kindness

in the moments you least expect them, to strangers, and family, and friends.

 

It will take all the breath in my body

and all the words in my mouth

and it will take sharing them with you.

 

Or perhaps there is no gap, no empty place, no hole....

perhaps you have simply stepped aside 

and now I see the world itself was always standing with you.

 

In that case, the smallest flower and the brightest star would each 

remind me of you even as they made me smile 

with the joy that wells up at the sheer improbability

that a flower or a star should exist, let alone that I should exist to see them.

 

And I think I begin to understand that both are true.

There is a hole; there is not a hole.

You are here; you are not.

Maybe quantum physics isn't so impossible to understand

if I can I understand that.

 

For as long as I live, I will miss you.

For as long as I live, thinking of you will make me smile and, sometimes, ask myself

the kind of questions I need to ask.

The kind of questions that always came to mind 

when I saw the amazing, deliberate way you chose to live.

 

Are you happy?

Did you remember to hug the people you love today?

Have you drunk enough water?

Can you be the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?

What are your dreams?

Will you remember to laugh and sing and love, and to just be?

 

To those questions, my only answer is 

that I will keep asking them, of myself and of the people I love

and remember how beautiful you were in asking,

and that your answers touched the sky. 

 

Copyright Elyria Little 2014

 

 

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