For Phyllis

She comes to the end of her life
And you are gathered around her
You may not know what to do
During that

How much can you read to her
Pray to her
There are 150 psalms

How much do not go gentle into that good night etc.
And you may want her to go gently
But it is not yours
As she is vigorous in life

She retains that vigor
As she moves towards death

She may not die so quickly

But singing we are to her the last prayers
Singing anyway

And she in her narcotic
Wake-less-ness of life crossing death

Knows she is accompanied

The highest companionship
Accompanied into the transition
As her soul makes its way home
From where it came

Whatever had not been said in life
Can be said then
Along that way when the paths are merging
I’m sorry
I forgive
Forgive me
Understand understand this
I’m not sure I understand

I will never forget you

And always the thank you thank you thank you
What we owe to almost everyone who precedes us
Into death

Send a sign
When you are settled on the other side won’t you
To know that you are waiting waiting
Performing some inscrutable

For the living
That we the living haven’t figured out
But is as basic as


We think
We will remember we will remember
But what you continue to do
For the living
Might be

We think we will not forget you
We are asking

Do not forget us


jsg, usa
November 26, 2010