Tuesday, April 17, 2012

passing on "Pass On"

This poem by Michael Lee left me with a lump in my throat because I've had similar experiences since my mother's death. When a loved one is gone, we look for, and occasionally find, pieces of that loved one in the lives we continue to live. Lee concludes:

Death does not come when a body is too exhausted to live
Death comes, because the brilliance inside us can only be contained for so long.
We do not die. We pass on, pass on the lightning burning through our throats.
when you leave me I will not cry for you
I will run into the strongest wind I can find
and welcome you home.

Wind imagery, the pneuma, is prevalent in the poem. Last year, in May, I was standing at an overlook on Skyline Drive. It was late afternoon, and I had already driven about halfway along the Drive-- beyond the reach or interest of most tourists. I had the overlook all to myself-- the Shenandoah Valley spread out below me, a fierce sky and glaring sun above me, softened by the benevolent intercession of clouds. Nature herself was singing its chorus, and Mom was there-- there in the mountaintop wind. I wept for her.

I'm still not at a stage where I can safely say, like the poet, that I won't cry for Mom, but I know what Lee means about running into that wind and welcoming her home.

NB: I can't take credit for finding this link. I saw it on Lorianne's blog, where it had been contributed by a commenter.


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