Monday, December 8, 2008

Prayer for Departure

in honor of my mother's departing moment (1911-2007)

It was yesterday, in the early afternoon light;
I held your hand closely in mine, the rosary beads
draped between our hands - together, passing
from one bead to the next,

Hail Mary, full of grace,

flavoring the room: a balm.
Breathing in deeply: All That Is.

The Lord is with thee
ninety-five year old vesseled spirit
with staccato breath.

Blessed art thou among women

emptying with each exhale, in the

lengthening pauses



The tide leaves the shore:
each wave withdraws deep
to the sea.

Blessed is the fruit of thy womb

a vessel made of red earth and chile;
once strong legs, a blackening blue,
as you take your leave
no longer needing them.

Ticket in hand, you turn away,
look at the clock, see that it’s time,
and move toward the gate that reads

Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of god,

water pouring into it’s source,
the vessel empties,
the breath rests,
and this time
does not

Pray for us sinners.

The red-brown clay dries, crumbles...
returns to the earth,

now and at the hour of our death

as you leave:
a breeze



Shark said...

Nice. Very nice. I'll bet your mom was quite a person. But she still lives -- in you and your sons... and their progeny.


PS: FWIW: John Lennon died on Dec. 8, 1980. IMAGINE Peace.

Stella Magdalen said...

This reminds me of how Burroughs called life "the ticket that explodes"

Sandi said...

Ah, the prayer from my elementary school days! This is a very powerful piece for me. The rhythm, the imagery, the two mothers. Well done.

el poquito said...

yep, she was a strong, unique individual...

One of her best pieces of advice: "never lose your ability to get down to the floor and up again." Every day she practiced this until a broken back made it impossible. Still, from 90 on she exercised daily in her bed while watching her morning TV shows, stretching, weights, exercises... all around her home she had little signs that said, "I CAN DO IT!"

My tenacious role model.

Stella, thanks - had to follow the google trail on that one which led me to 'cut-outs'. Something I often do in writing... never realized it's a 'technique' of surrealism. Guess my life is just naturally surreal.... I simply report it.

thanks all. good to sit awhile with each of you.

el p.

Shark said...

RE: "never lose your ability to get down to the floor and up again."

El P, you casually told me this advice from your mom a while back, and I'll never forget it; it's got to be one of the best pieces of advice EVER.

Thanks Mom!