Last Poem

February 5, 2013

Your breath as it sits
above the ocean, so like a pale
winter’s storm drifting out to sea.
Your voice as a wave crashed
against the beach,
so adulterous to be there.
A child in winter’s clothes,
a wound stitched by barren trees…

I remember your voice could make
arias from my poems.
Your voice could climb above the clouds,
even as winter remained in the mountains.
Your voice could be a desert so dry
it might never comprehend the rain.

And so your poem will be my last poem,
a poem from a long time ago,
written by you, now that you’ve got past death,
as though the imperfect were a vocation.
For you belong to us now.
Come. Welcome me to your new home.
Let me hear your voice again, my love.
We must grow larger. It seems that we must.

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4 Responses to “Last Poem”

  1. extrasimile Says:

    Anna: once again I am playing my game of pronouns without antecedents. It does make sense to think the ‘I’ in the poem is me. But it is also the voice of Aunt Gracie speaking to an unknown ‘you’. What I’d really like to say, in answer to the question as to who is speaking, is ‘both’. The idea of the poem breathing is an intriguing one. I’ll have to think some about it. Thanks for the kind words. I definitely appreciate them.

  2. Anna Mark Says:

    Jim, this poem has such a different feel to it, much looser and it reads as though it breathes, growing larger. The varied descriptions of her voice are captivating and seem full of love and longing. You are asking for her voice…? For her last poem. This is beautiful and a wonderful glimpse at the human heart.

  3. extrasimile Says:

    Yes, the reference is internal. Gracie’s last poem. But I don’t know if it is the last. There are still a lot of things about her that need sorting out. There’s an old trunk in her attic filled with papers. We’ll see.

  4. John Stevens Says:

    As you can see, Jim, I’ve been catching up today on your recent posts. This one worries me: you don’t mean us to infer that this is to be the last poem on your blog, I hope!
    Instead I read it as a further tribute to Aunt Gracie, whose life and words seemed like a poem in ‘A Luxury of Knowledge’, and an extended musing on death and the final ‘enlargement’ that comes to all. I hope that’s how you would wish me to read it.
    The lines are rather beautiful – there seems to be both a looking back and a longing.


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