ANGELS PASSING TIME

for Meme, 1920-2015

Birds flew, like checkmarks in the sky
marking off the clouds. Where I stand,
I can close one eye and squint.
I find your face, drifting
in the light. Birds travel
so quickly and far, to a place
I can only imagine, not know.

how her garden grew

Where I stand in the snow
it is cold. We once stood here,
together, eyes lifted to the sky
as it darkened for a storm.
You told me I had nothing to fear,
you were near and would not leave me.

Anyway, you added, thunder is only angels
bowling, and lightning, the devil’s anger.
He is a poor sport, you said.
And what about the rain, I demanded.
“Just rain,” you said,
so much magic could only go so far.

Have faith, you told me,
though you cannot see.
We were on a balcony
full of last summer’s flowers,
their dried heads nodding
in the wind.

 

KEY WORDS:  grandmother, heaven, faith, angels, poetry

About Janice

After years of writing--poetry, essays, articles, reports--I turned to drawing as a way to cope with grief over the death of my grandmother. This turn to drawing has become a complete opening to it, and has led to publication of my first picture book, "What Are Mothers For?" A joyful reflection on the long and loving relationships between women of all ages and stages of life.
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