This is it, I think, the last walk to your door
and I pass ravens and horses and geese,
bears and fairies, tidy bright beings
that crowd the hedges waiting to be seen.
They are what you made them, vivid, simple,
creatures rendered of rocks, wood or plastic,
guardians of your ingenuity, vivacity.
Recycled bits and pieces that shone under your hand.
They mark your presence on the way to the house
soon to be emptied as you are moved elsewhere
from this place which gleams in light flowing from a
brittle blue sky, beauty a taunt and a poultice.
It may be the last time I climb this rise in the land
to see you. I mean you, the one I’ve known all my life,
not the one you are becoming with your odd shyness
and vibration of fear and fatal gaps in conversation
memories loose and tangled like threads beneath
the great tapestry of your industrious, iridescent life.
I climb the five sienna red steps. You come after a
moment so long that I am deafened by
sirens screaming toward some far-off disaster,
and clouds converge and bunch, then race over city
center until blueness has gone slate and I sense
the stealth fire invading our territory.
I am trying, pulling you closer as you blur
like there are veils of smoke that have swallowed us
but I cannot save you. So I cross into your
netherworld, one sister welcoming another
with our arms still mighty and weighted with love,
heavy and sound like the heart of stone
you painted for me so long ago