What People Give You ~ Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno
Long-faced irises. Mums.
Pink roses and white roses
and giant sunflowers,
and hundreds of daisies.
Fruit baskets with muscular pears,
and water crackers and tiny jams
and the steady march of casseroles.
people give money these days.
Cards, of course:
the Madonna, wise
and sad just for you,
Chinese cherry blossoms,
sunsets and moonscapes,
and dragonflies for transcendence.
People stand by your sink
and offer up their pain:
Did you know I lost a baby once,
or My eldest son was killed,
or My mother died two months ago.
People are good.
They file into your cartoon house until it bows at the seams;
they give you every
except your daughter back.
A cool, crisp September morning, this second day of the new month. For the first time since Summer first arrived, I begin to anticipate its end: it’s getting darker earlier, evenings now call for jeans and flannel shirts, and I can see my breath as I go about morning barn chores.
This was a Summer marked by sorrow:the terrible accident which took the life of a dear friend’s son. I was thinking this morning that perhaps Fall’s arrival would bring her some solace, each cool day another step away from the memory of that blazing hot morning of unspeakable grief. But, this is the way I’ve been thinking ever since that morning: what new diversion can I offer her to take her mind off that grief? Another offer of a meal, concert tickets, a hike up the mountain, a swim in the river…anything to lift that veil of terrible sadness.
I drove by her house the other day, and saw her standing beside the old oak tree in her front yard. She did not see me, she did not appear to to be seeing anything really, so sad and oblivious to anything but her loss did she seem. I thought to swing back, leap out of my car and gather her up for a hug; and then I knew not to.