May 16, 2006

Note to my former uncle, recently deceased

Posted in Personal, Poetry at 4:47 pm by The Lizard Queen

You died on Friday; I just found out about a half hour ago. I didn’t know what to say to you the last time I saw you, nearly two years ago now. I’ve always thought of you as my uncle, even though you and my aunt have been divorced for over ten years. I don’t really know what to say to you now, either, except that I’m glad your passing was peaceful, and I love you. I don’t know why I’m weeping now, whether it’s for your pain, or because I won’t ever get to talk to you as a grown-up, or if it’s simply for my cousin—your daughter—and your wife. I’m pasting in a poem for you, below. It might not be the best one for the occasion, but it spoke to me all the same. I’ll say goodbye on Thursday; for now it’s simply safe journey.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes—
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs—
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The feet, mechanical, go round—
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought—
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone—

This is the Hour of Lead—
Remembering, if outlived,
As Freezing Persons recollect the Snow—
First—Chill—then Stupor—then the letting go—

~Emily Dickinson

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1 Comment »

  1. Beverly said,

    Oh, Liz, I’m so sorry. xx


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