My partner's dearest friend has been a tree -
a young red oak with centuries to thrive -
for two despondent years and several months.

He was adored, respected, filled with light,
and plagued by shadows to the very end.
His death was sudden, shattering, and strange.

Although I loved him - trusted him - in life,
our friendship never got the chance to bloom.
I've known him longer - better - as a tree.

I visit him each morning on the walks
I take with my incorrigible dog,
a bright, intrepid soul who once was tasked

with watching over someone doomed to die
- though not 'til she'd defied her death for years -
a beacon to the world, its jewel, my mother.

We've mourned her side by side these past four years.
But while his memories have largely dimmed -
her scent long faded from the house she died in -

I'm haunted still by images of her:
the shrunken skin that clung to poisoned bones;
the vacant eyes, the gaping mouth, the moans

that echoed through the house those three bleak days
it took for her to die. And even now,
when I allow myself to sink too deep

into my memories of those bitter days,
I lose myself in wild spiraling
until my throat cuts off the ragged, wretched gasps

that rattle like her final, shallow breath.
The worst thing now: her life feels like a dream.
I only vividly recall her death.

I think of her each time I visit him,
my partner's friend, whose glowing canopy
will someday loom as large in life as he.

They would have loved each other. If, by chance,
an afterlife exists, I deeply hope
the two of them will intersect someday.

Or maybe they'll be planted side by side
On this plane - for, in all sincerity,
I think she, too, would like to be a tree.

Poetry by Lady Courtaire
Read 38 times
Written on 2023-11-20 at 16:05

Tags Grief  Death  Reflection 

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Alan J Ripley The PoetBay support member heart!
Lady Courtaire
It's hard to imagine the pain that you feeling,
But you paint it so eloquently with words.
An inspired yet sad poem.
My deepest condolences,
Regards Alan.

Like a wave, this poem has washed over me. What a perfect handling of the tercet form as well. Wonderful work! I felt this deeply

D G Moody The PoetBay support member heart!
Thank you for this poem, it spoke to me on life and death, and what becomes of what has been. I thought it's form and clear language added to its depth.