The anniversary of my mother’s death came and went this year. Of course, that doesn’t mean anything. Grief follows no linear path…some years, I barely notice, and others, it incapacitates me. This year I was busy with the Fringe and so had a lot to distract me. But on the subway today I saw a toddler wrap her legs around her mother’s torso and fall asleep on her shoulder and I thought, “I remember that.”
Here is a poem my Dad wrote about my Mom. If I need to cry, I just read this. Late summer was indeed her time: birthday, wedding anniversary, death-day, the cicadas throughout.
OF MARY ANNE, MY MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Her bearing regal, luminous even-
a midsummer night’s dream. I will never
get over her, a midsummer vision
in gold lame’, flattened sandals ever
slapping insouciantly down some stairs,
devil may care the details—dust, my faults.
I conjure her presence, renaissance faire
here where I walk, green grassed under tree vaults
in midsummer late day light. Evening sun
she seems to me, her possibilities
poised again, after her night in homespun,
like Cinderella to dance in Belize
at dawn with a kind prince on whose empire
the sun never finally sets. I would
follow wherever she goes, to admire
her peerless lips, steal a kiss if I could
for the taste of the earthy gloss on them,
like the musk of midsummer’s dusk, humid
and salt. We were never more one than when
dancing—neither of us cared which one led.