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Richard George United Kingdom (9/26/2005 2:06:00 PM)

I'm probably a bit late to post a poem about death, but this is one of my all time favourite poems by anyone on any subject. It's by Albert Huffstickler (1927-2002) of Austin, Texas.

Transcendance

I think of a dream I had
some fourteen years ago
not long before my mother died:
I was getting off the bus
in Ft.Myers where she lived
and saw her next door in the drug store.
She had managed to get downtown
to meet me and I knew
that she was buying me
a homecoming present.
She looked so old and tired
and something melted in me
and I felt such sorrow
over her love for me,
felt so ashamed
to be loved the way
that this old woman loved me.
And maybe that dream
foretold her death
because I knew that she
had passed beyond me,
that her love for me
had carried her beyond us both
and so
she didn't belong here anymore.
And I stood watching her
with this terrible sadness in me
wandering from aisle to aisle,
searching anxiously
for just the right thing,
all of her being focussed
on finding just the right thing.
God knows what the right thing was.
God knows if she found it.
I woke to some cosmic, unbearable grief
and sat smoking till daylight.

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  • David Nelson Bradsher (9/27/2005 8:18:00 AM) Post reply

    What a great poem that is. It really tugged at me, and I don't even like many free verse poems. Thank you.

  • Michael Shepherd (9/27/2005 6:23:00 AM) Post reply

    Huge thankyou for that, Richard. Unforgettable. And so, so true. That totality of love is devastating, and the poem throws that up so well.

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