Day 93. Could Have Done You Better

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Like a lot of people, I can’t stop thinking about Joplin.

It’s created a bit of a melancholy haze with everything. Here, it’s so close, and so horrific. Similarly, a few years ago, a volunteer that I worked with lost her husband. I think it is a special thing when you make a connection with someone of a different generation. That’s how I felt with her. A woman in her upper 60s, she was shocked to come home one day to find that her husband had committed suicide. It devastated her. Soon after, one afternoon/evening I went down and sat and talked with her for a long time.

It was a really powerful moment for me. I came home and wrote a poem about it. As I’ve shared before, I don’t have many of these and I think this is my last one. I can only write them in really intense emotional times.

I was struck by the idea that we describe funerals in the possessive of the person that died, when really it is the first thing the deceased can’t own.

Could Have Done You Better

Ron’s funeral was Saturday,

But it was never his to own

It was o-only, only her’s,

And her’s alone

|

And as blue crashes to blue

The laughter melts to tears

She’s forgotten how to care for her

After all these years

|

And I could have done you better

I could have done you free

But now, all you left me

Is a memory of me

|

The eyes she looks through

Are no longer the eyes she sees

The sofa’s screamin’ empty

As the sky gives way to trees

|

She’s askin’ questions

She should never know

Like, how did two birds die

From just this one stone?

|

And I could have done you better

I could have done you free

But now, all you left me

Is a memory of me

|

Her trembled hands are clasped,

Desperate to atone

He meant more to her

Than flesh means to bone

|

His grief met her’s

As metal met with gray

Now she’s married to thoughts

That words could never say

|

And I could have done you better

I could have done you free

But now, all you left me

Is a memory of me

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