Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reflections: Loss and Remembrance


A Melancholy Diptych
(for Amy Winehouse, 9/14/83 - 7/23/11)

I. Clueless

My daughters
are still quite young,
living lives defined by friends,
travel, sex, education.
They know the ephemeral sadness
of a hard occasion,
but they do not yet comprehend
the quintessential sadness
of the world.
They would not understand how
their father could be driving to work
listening to Tori Amos sing
“Famous Blue Raincoat” with tears
washing down the creases in his face,
or why this clueless old man
would be composing a eulogy
for poor lost
Amy Winehouse
in his head as he drives.

II. For Amy

when we accept
the false assurance
of our own advice
with the anxious bravado
of a child, alone,
half asleep,
and afraid of the dark.

Let there be a lesson
in the lamenting of the loss:
when it falls
it falls away in pieces
like the stages of a rocket
following its fast ascent, lost
in the brilliant blossom of flame
burning its beauty
into the flat black
backdrop of the midnight sky
like a defiant tattoo.
Then suddenly
it is out of sight,
a tiny point
of light.

one last tat:
A rising sun
all wrapped in banners:
“Clean Forever”
“Clean at Last”

***    ***    ***

And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
~ L. Cohen