Monday, September 03, 2007

Blue in Green

On May 15th, 2007 my cousin LaSon White passed at the age of 46. Although 46 is terribly young, at 45 she had actually lived longer than her mother and grandmother, a fact that was not lost on her.
Of all my cousins, she and I were probably closest, on every trip back to Pittsburgh I called or stopped past her store. Smart, stylish, caring, her smile was often antidote for whatever ailed me. Because I got the first call in April, I set the poem there and took a little poetic license at the end. This piece has a hint of Whitman and a twist of Eliot.

A Solo for LaSon

April sprouts around us,
is the sky as sullen there?
The hour after we talked was
cruelest, most raw. In less than a
month, your doctor says
breeding cells will overwhelm you.
Lilacs bloom here as there, just
out the door. Purple hints
of all the Prince songs we've shared.
The plentiful petals are
dead certain to flutter around,
land and decorate your walkway.

April's sibilant drizzle
is like a cymbal, mocking
the insistence of memories,
cruelest at dusk. What other
month would dream of
breeding, then watering these
lilacs purple as bruises?
Out of the incessant rhythm
of the rain's thin fingers,
the melody of a woman's voice
dead on key, singing 'Adore',
lands on my quivering ears.

April winds wane,
is that the phone ringing amid
the backscatter of the evening news?
Cruelest is the quiet after the call.
Month after month will sprout,
breeding a peace soothing as those
lilacs you loved so much. But right now,
out on the horizon, the purple song
of the setting sun is
the last hope I have, of being
dead silent and hearing your voice in the
land of the living.


(For LaSon C. White, 1961-2007)
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