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December: Solstice

December 21, 2012

Snow candle

Two years ago today I lost a very dear friend, Mary Rowlands-Pritchard,  during the lunar eclipse. Her family had cared for her at home, surrounding her with so much love that the whole house seemed filled with it. In her last weeks she was eagerly looking forward to the birth of her youngest grandchild, who came into the world two days after she departed from it.

Last Saturday I had the privilege of attending the first performance of a wonderful carol commissioned in her memory from the composer Judith Bingham and performed by Opus Anglicanum.

I miss her laughter, her talent for seeing the bright side of every gumboil, her courage, her kindness, her amazing spirit. In the twelvemonth and a day following her death I wrote a dozen or more poems exploring the presence of her absence.

This was the first of them.

Eclipse

Snow came early. A shadow crossed the moon.
It took your breath away.
Serene and pale, an alabaster queen,
between the window and the candle flame
you lie cold in this cell.

You longed to see the baby yet unborn,
dreamed the winter sky into his eyes,
the flush of daybreak into his dear flesh,
willed a strong heart, and lovingly
blessed every part.

Out from home’s haven in this coracle
woven of willow, lined with calico,
stitched through with song and caulked with prayer,
you go on your last journey.

Travel well.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 21, 2012 11:18 am

    Beautiful poem, Ama. I really like the coracle part…

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