Moments have filled them.
Memories have flooded and passed through.
Long ago there was your hand:
Bleu-veined and worn,
wearing an opal, a diamond:
a long standing symbol of accomplishment:
marriage, devotion, tiredness, love, exhaustion,
more love, a little joy, but oh so tired.
20 years ago I held your hand
said good-bye or maybe hello,
wondered if you would understand my life
my loves, my choices
which have been so much about your beauty and the lineage of grace.
How the air vibrates like a choir
in your memory! Thicker and more potent-
I am held by it, wrapped in it, soothed by it.
Your glistening eyes and sorrowful smile have become me
And I carry you in the world so quietly
Like a secret magic that falls out of me
by surprise and ignites a little life into those I touch.
Beth P. Riley
On the 20th anniversary of her mother’s death, July 2003