Four poems remembering the dead, contributed by Michael Luckens (2019)
Each of these poems is so achingly moving.
“Dear Leslie” was written by a member of Leslie’s extended family and was read at Leslie’s funeral. Leslie was a loving wife, a mother of two young children and just embarking on a promising professional career. She was bright, warm, funny and loving.
"God, Take This Child…" by Nancy Scott
Sweet child whom we never really got to know,
It’s hard for us to let you go.
We waited and we wanted you.
We had so many dreams for you.
We think of smiles we'll never see.
We think of events that will never be.
There will be no first steps and no first teeth.
There is only a void and our own grief.
We planned to take you to places far and near.
We yearned to keep you safe and free from fear.
We hoped to show you much of your new world.
We wanted to teach you as your life unfurled.
It’s hard to understand why you, our baby, died.
We feel so numb right now, many tears we’ve cried.
We have so many questions and no answers seem to come.
We tried so hard to save you; nothing could be done.
God, we stand before you broken-hearted
and ask you to heal these lives that must be parted
from this little one we can no longer hold,
who will always be a part of us, even when we're old.
God, take this child in your loving arms.
No more can he suffer any harm.
Bless him always and bless us too.
Be with us and help us to make it through.
"Dear Leslie" by Sulochana Ramabadhran
I see you in the flowers
Soft and sweet
Fragrant and vibrant
Wafting along the wind.
I see you in the mountain stream,
Winding along its coarse path
Never groaning or grumbling
Running calm and quiet
When in pleasure or in pain
Making sweet rippling noise
Like tingling laughter of an infant.
I see you in the rainbow in the morning rain,
Each hue speaking a volume
Some say violet some red.
When we put all together
It was pure white to disappear from our sight.
I see you in the footprints on the sandy shore
Though fleeting and wiped away by waves.
There was time enough to imbibe
Virtues and values you stood for.
Every incident was interesting
Every moment was special.
That your children will hear
And listen with patience and pride
You have left glimpses here, there and everywhere.
It’s for us to put them together
Make a picture of our own
To be cherished as a treasure.
"Collation" by Michaela Edridge
I walk beside you on your last journey
touching the wood of your skin.
Other people walk too but they are outside.
I pull the shutters across my face seeing without my eyes.
I enfold myself in a blanket of yesterday
when you were touching my mind across the room.
Memories sit in trees like colored birds
coming to mind, each to their shading.
And now you walk across my dreams
in delicate cobwebs of remembrances.
You are there, floating on the breath of the wind
and dancing on the wings of birds.
You are with me in each day’s laughter
whispering in the quiet of my life.
You walk in my house, a shadow more real than I.
You sit in the garden like warmth on a summer day.
You are with me-captured in the prison of my need.
You are my truth beyond the shadows,
lying in the depths of purple dreams, alone.
Your death lies in my heart.
The wound of it will come together, the bruises fade.
The hurt will never go.
But I will touch your memory gently
so it will not disappear.
"It is Enough" by Anne Alexander Bingham
To know that the atoms
of my body
To think of them rising
through the roots of a great oak
to live in
leaves, branches, twigs.
Perhaps to feed the
the blue iris
or rest on water,
freeze and thaw
with the seasons.
Some atoms might become a
bit of fluff on the wing
of a chickadee
to feel the breeze,
know the support of air.
And some might drift
up and up into space
star dust returning from
whence it came
It is enough to know that
as long as there is a universe,
I am a part of it.