For Anna Ingre
is your birthday. But do I say "is" your birthday
for someone who has died or is it proper to say
"was" your birthday because. Well. You died.
But the day is still the day you were born.
Tomorrow is the day which would
have been cause for a celebration. A variety of
some of whom know each other only
Your small and cozy home filled with people in every room,
spilling from the enclosed front porch with plants
and starts and vines lined along the house's railing,
into the front room entry way where one wall was covered
from floor to ceiling and end to end
with bookcases full of poetry and travel and spirituality
and pleasure books; the other wall covered with your own
People meandering into the kitchen with dining area separated
by a peninsula which attached
to the wall, so it was not an island standing alone.
And the friends in clumps and covens and snaking through
the house and people would spill out the back door to your
lush and productive
Some people wandering the rows of plants, touching
gently, sniffing deeply, feeling the rich earth
beneath their feet.
Still others under the large overhanging tree.
Sitting or standing as they could or as they desired.
Nodding heads and topics tossed about from the political
to the heart songs to writing and art and
poetry. Therapy, mental health, pets, relationships.
I can still smell the cooking beans and rice, the sauteed onions,
an herbal tea made from your own garden.
I can see the fresh baked goods brought by friends, the basket
of tortilla chips and bowl of salsa, skewers of veggies and
plates of fruit.
Food and friends gathered.
To celebrate you.
I miss the gatherings. I miss your calm and firm manner.
I miss your determination and independence and strength.
I miss talking about writing and gardening and I wish
I would have spent more time with you, writing, listening,
The passion flower plant you gave us as a raggedy start root
still blooms. Still screens our front porch, giving shade and
cooling our front room.
Every year the plant returns, no matter the winter weather nor
Every year the flowers bloom, a few at a time, until the first
frost. Scattered wild passion flowers, purple, spikey, and white;
Today a mutual friend reminded me that tomorrow is your birth day.
Now four years past your death.
May your journey in the other world be kind
and full of passionate poetry
and dancing plants.
by Dot Hearn 5/16/12
|photo from eHow|