11.20.23My 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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