Almost A Great Funeral
Dedicated to Janie, who died last week
On the sacred balance sheet
something had to be corrected,
a repair in the cosmic loam,
an indignity done
in the realm of memory, spirit,
where God and soul
the mystery quantities calculate
in a Zoroastrian tug for the heart of the world.
As if the world turns on these corrections,
which it does,
spins right around on the axis of Janie.
We buried Janie last week.
At one point I felt loaded into the catapult
and hurled into the sky where I exploded into sparks,
light into light,
drifting back to ground like Chinese fireworks.
There are so few of these moments nowadays.
When Janie passed,
I dreamed that she could have saved the world,
her ruthlessness saving souls.
She went to the edge with people
because she had been there herself,
snatched them back as she had been,
as if she made the necessary repairs,
as if she were the true person of compassion
we have been waiting for every night to renew the next day,
then the question:
what if there are not enough of them,
How many true persons of compassion does it take?
For a few minutes remembering Janie,
I felt the possibility of redemption
that’s when I took off,
shot up into the overhead air
and dissipated into the wind around her grave.
If the priest had spent five minutes listening to her story,
he could have taken the whole crowd there,
gone with us anyway.
If he had understood
how Janie transformed and redeemed herself and dozens of others,
we could have explained to him
that Janie might have cleaned up all the mess
through the first person she snatched back,
for to save one person
is to save an entire world.
What a shame to have missed the whole story
when even a part of it,
one of many that Janie saved,
could have redeemed
all of us.