Dear Mary

Most likely, you sipped tea
rather than coffee
when you wrote peaceably
about geese, wild wheat,
‘the willows and the honey locust.’


Your studio was full of light,
I imagine.
You sitting with your white dog,
faithful companion.


At what time of day did
the Muse settle in
to nudge your illuminatus awake,
that rare whisper to genius?
Morning? Afternoon?
Perhaps Midnight?
I think morning;
yours doesn’t seem the
manic type of poetry.
You were not a beat poet making fists
at the world in the middle of the night.


More like Wordsworth,
you pointed us to
essential connections,
truths without pretense
and, most of all…wonder.
Hidden, ephemeral epiphanies
we may not have otherwise
seen or felt with our hands in the dirt
until the sun lavished our faces
and we realized who we were.


You invited us to kneel at our inner altars
and made us understand.
I thought you would live forever.
It suddenly seems a vacuous world.


On the day you left-
after your final goodbye,
my newsfeed blew up with lamentations.
There were profound expressions of gratitude
from Laura, Angela, KC, and Kim
(who adores your poems about dogs)
and from Daniel (who says you are the most
popular poet among clergy).


Then there’s the majestic M’s:
Meredith, Maggie
and Morgan (who keeps a book of yours
in her car ‘in case of emergencies’).


The way you braided truth into words-
how could we not be set on fire?
You imprinted on us the possibility of
mellifluous awakenings.


We- so many- came to know ourselves
by your gentle proddings.
Your poems; they are mirrors
and after we read one, we ask ourselves:
‘Who are you?’
and just like that we are reacquainted
with our newly-unencumbered selves.


Our hearts are better because of you:
Poet, Sage, Mother of Earth and quiet wind.

Remember us.
(c) 2019