Friday, October 25, 2013

One month later


For all the world, that last evening, a few hours before Mom died, she seemed like a proud old ship ready for one last voyage. She was safe; she was strong — safe, strong, safe, strong — as if safety and strength emanated from her in greens and blues, as sleeping she declared herself to the tide.

I thought, perhaps, she would not sail until it was light the next morning. But she couldn’t wait that long. At two-thirty, the telephone rang, and I was given the news that she was gone.

Moments before, I’d been awakened by a noise in the house: a rafter creaking, a wall settling, a fir cone landing on the roof. And so I stayed awake, waiting for the call, knowing it would come, and it came.

How she loved her home. How we love it still. What a joy, like her, to be here and passing through.



4 comments:

Two Tigers said...

Oh William, this touched me so deeply, bringing back a night nearly 30 years ago when something woke me up at 2am and I lay in bed wide awake when that call came from the hospital to let us know my grandmother had passed. My mother also reported being suddenly awakened moments before the phone rang. How like my grandmother to make the rounds gently waking us so we would be ready and not unduly disturbed by the sound of the phone! I believe she passed through the house that night and on nights that followed. Some women are simply too strong in their love to be kept away from what and who they love even by death. Thank you so much. Your sharing your writing your way through your personal grief helps us all.

William Michaelian said...

Dear Gabriella, thank you for your beautiful note. Yes, these kinds of visits I have come to expect, and to accept on their own terms. And I can hardly call what I feel these days grief, as it’s such a rich time full of so many good memories. I’m simply grateful, and in awe. What an amazing experience this life is. What promise and wonder it holds.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...



. Dawndead

. The morning,
. like the dead
. rarely slowly seeps
. while everything sleeps;
. nor keeps to
. its image of silence.
. Morning
. trumpets, bursts, light,
. a sun
. parades in the day, singing.
. Roosters crowing,
. crows cry, birds...
. birds clatter and scatter
. the night.

. The dead, also, rarely creep
. but shout and rattle loudly
. These ghosts don't drift
. they scream
. in the memory.


Copyright 2005 - Evolving: Poems 1965-2005, Gary B. Fitzgerald

William Michaelian said...

Gary, thank you, too, for something said worth saying again, and beautifully so.