April 2-3, 2012:

Mourning friends simply does not get any easier. I suppose it is a sign of how old I am. But dear Peg Davol died last week and this week I went with my writing group to sit for awhile with our friend, colleague, mate Anna Kirwan who is in hospice care at her home. She is serene and accepting. I wrote this poem about her:


For Anna, Luminous in Her Dying


You have the face of a medieval angel,

hair a halo of gray curls,

and the birds by your bedside,

alerted by our conversations,

sing hallelujahs into the air.

I do not think I can be a celebrant

at your death bed, it would be indecent

since I do not believe as you believe,

the throne of glory and all that stuff.

But I can hold your hand, make metaphor

of your face, your curls, your parakeets,

And that will have to be enough,

if only for me, not you, who has that whole

God in Heaven, next adventure thing going for you.

Me, I just have grief.


I have a life, too, though in the face of Anna’s moment, it seems very–oh, I don’t know–prosaic. I received a copy of Conclave magazine with three of my poems leading the pack. I got ten copies of son Jason’s coffee table book Kiawah which is just gorgeous. I wrote a bit on Magnus, thought a bit about the Centaur Field book and fiddled with it. Entertained Peter Beagle, Connor (his business manager) and Connor’s wife Terri. We went out to dinner. They stayed over. We gabbed and gabbed and gabbed. I made them breakfast in the morning. Went for a back doctor check up. Did some pre-packing for my forthcoming trip to Minnesota.

But all the while, Anna’s luminous face was before me.


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