Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sweet Journey

She stares into her canvas, drawing
to her brush a blood-red droplet
of paint for another flower, her hands

delicate, as diaphanous as the wings
of a white butterfly, with blue veins
running lace-like a precious pattern

from her thin fingers to her heart.
She knew she was terminal, but
death was uncharacteristically

slow in fulfilling itself, as she sought
week by week to finish her painting,
not a masterpiece, she would say, but

a sweet journey of the heart, as if
retracing a memory-strewn passage
back to her beginning. She paused

at times in her wanderings along the
sunlit, fragrant path of that canvas, too ill
to crawl from her bed, or encountering

the world from a hospital window,
the shadows of her death intensifying.
The last time she painted with me

she seemed to be telling me her death
was near, and thanked God for the years
allotted her. She died several days later,

her canvas, her life, largely incomplete
but her true journey now underway.

(For Dorothy - missing you)


Bill said...

"incomplete" has come to mean a lot here.

Warren said...

Thank you, Bill - Yes, she was 47 and finally learning how to live after a rough start at her life - she was, I think, ready for death. Not eager for it, but not fearing it either. Maybe the learning how to die is in the learning how to live?


Gillena Cox said...

a sweet poem of remembrance Warren; friendships such as this really is a forever story; much love

P.S. my favourite lines
"a sweet journey of the heart, as if
retracing a memory-strewn passage
back to her beginning."

Warren said...

Thank you Gillena - I can always count on you to give my stuff a good read and insightful comments. You're tops!


Magyar said...

Warren, I'll paraphrase.
__I love >the viens... that lace-like pattern from her fingers to her heart<

...and the treasure she left behind, this painting, incomplete.

Warren said...

Hi Magyar - That line is actually my favorite as well - primarily because it was so true, her skin seemed so diaphanous, pale bluish, with veins that seemed too close to the surface. She said that was a result of her liver condition. Thanks for comment, my friend!