Tuesday, July 13, 2010

For Annie

Dark Lanterns

My plants are dead
when I get home from traveling.
I sit by their shriveled bodies and weep, wishing
I had friends who cared, someone to spill water
onto parched soil, someone
I could trust.

I have no friends.

I sit and think of you and cry.

You were a friend, and now you're gone.
A nurse, an actress, a humanist
an activist. Someone who cared.

You never smoked. You avoided even second hand smoke,
but lung cancer took you anyway, stole your breath
your hope, your life.

Always, you were a soft smile, a welcome in, a gentle ear.
You served brownies and cookies and smiles,
always smiles. Hugs. Healing hugs.

I touch the lifeless blossoms
that hang from brown stems like little lanterns,
empty of light
and remember your face, so full
of joy. Your eyes sparkled and shone with fun.
Now they are closed forever.

I pour water on those desiccated sticks,
wondering, hoping
somehow some bit of green,
some life remains,
some sprout will answer
my wet wishes.

But for you, the time to hope
has passed. This
is the time of sorrow.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
for Annie LaForest Phillips, July 2010

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