Poem by Todd Swift on the occasion of the burial of his grandmother's urn
Melita, where to place you in your life?
Your own, of course, which ends
And starts, as all do, in its course –
Seen the way a river is, at bends,
At curves, the banks disclosed
Or covered by green shade of trees.
This coming close to any life, though
Is not yet yours, quite: the metaphor`s
Too general to do more than send
A mind pond-skittering away, a stone –
We know you more deeply than this –
The onlyness of each one`s store
Of actions, styles, ideas, graces:
In gardens, with books, at races.
The smart teaching girl, good wife –
Mother, grandmother – kind if stern
Afraid of fire as she had learned fire –
Cautious, concerned, intelligent, careful
To preserve – and gestures – how she
Brought breadcrumbs slowly off
The tablecloth with her palm as she talked.
How she walked in the woods! A beautiful
Woman, finally, whose many turns
Arrived at no other shape than this one.