squares (memorials)

I.
I came back to Buffalo
a month after she died, my skin
unused to winter
& surprised
at the sight of my breath
freezing to mist

no one else
would touch her things,
so the second day
I sifted through perfume bottles,
photographs
& packed clothing–
the shell
of a life, glittering
& hard;
empty
in her absence
& collecting dust

II.
the quilt squares
spread in colored rows
each named
& gorgeously stitched
some sequined

a murmuring
fabric memorial
we stepped over
& through–
I saw pain
echoing my own
in her lover’s eyes
& held his hand
as we walked

for us
it was another walk
for my sister;
though this
was not her illness,
we saw her name
embroidered
on each  square

III.
after the ground thawed
they set her stone.   a flat thing
flush with the earth; a stone
set in rows of stone
like the fabric
of the AIDS quilt

but nothing soft here,
no sequined flush
of color

announcing a beautiful life

 

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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15 Responses to squares (memorials)

  1. davidtrudel says:

    So poignant. Triste. And wonderfully expressive. I like the sparse elegance of the piece, no excessive verbiage, just a tipping point word or phrase to guide us through this reflection of a memory.

  2. Green Speck says:

    I liked the journey of this poem … So lucid and well defined !!!

  3. sad, but the love flows!

  4. mimijk says:

    I send you hugs – this was too beautiful and sparingly poignant for there to be no hug for you at the end.

  5. doncarroll says:

    very nice this is. sometimes i don’t know how to approach something like this. but i’d have to say that second stanza really is the nutshell of the whole piece because there it captures those life like moments. just a feel susan:)

  6. nelle says:

    Okay, this one is making my eyes misty. So well done.

  7. ow, deeply moving. May the earth lie gently on her.

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