Sunday, November 20, 2011

10/30 For Lorraine

For Lorraine
(On the tenth anniversary of your absence)

I'd like to tell you that your wishes were granted
That the foundation you set is stable
And the seeds you broadcasted took root
In rich soil and grew tall reaching towards the future
I'd like to tell you all these things
But, they would be lies,
And lying is an art I've never mastered

If I were a liar
I suppose I could say that the adventure playground
Still thrives that the swimming pool and parking lot are only
Figments of our wilting imagination
I could say that the peace garden
The perennials are bright and bold
And the tiles painted and fired still boast the names
Of those who've passed and still shout hopes
For the future
Set in mortar by tiny hands
And their proud work stands in tack
Not in pieces

The buildings are not falling a part
And wildlife has not become
More important than the human minds
Who occupy that building
Where there was once a waterfall
In the library, that flowed for three whole years
That empowerment is still the bread we feed ourselves
And the children daily
We eat heartily
Our bellies filled with insight and inspiration

I would tell you that integrity is still paramount here
That doing what's right is not considered insubordination
That undermining and too many cooks in the kitchen
Is not the reality
That what is needed is always granted
And your ten-year
Hiatus has not left dreams destitute and malnourished
Because the foundation was set
And the right thing is always the right thing
Even though the right thing has not shown its face

I'd tell you that those who remember
Still look for you
Those who remember
Still look out of their windows some days
And see you twirling in the light rain
Hands open and raised to the heavens
Willing it to wash away and renew
And those who remember
Held on to the memories
Until they were yanked out from under us
In the form of lies and letters
Written by those who never knew you
Those who come after this may never know you existed

I would tell you
There was an award once in your honor
I won't tell you that they spelled your name wrong
I won't speak of coroners vans and HAZMAT teams
I won't discuss the disconnect
Or the drunken strong holds unsteady on their feet

I will tell you instead
That those you brought into the fold
Will remain as long as they can
Deflected as much as they can
And hold on to your ideas and philosophies
Despite the abridged versions
You can get on line
But never in the palm of your hand

I will tell you
That though we were not agreed in all things
We disagreed more often than not
I understood when you remarked that some people
Should not work with small children
This is why you didn't work with small children
Why you chose those who could put them in place
The main part still rings true
Some people should not work with small children

I will tell you
That I know you had no idea you would leave so soon
But if you had put your wishes on paper
Willed them to those left behind
Maybe I wouldn't have to recount the last ten years
To you with lies and half-truths
That become whole in the retelling

They don't remember you here
There in no room for what worked
But when I leave
And I am being forced to leave
So I will go, but,
I will remember and take the parts worth preserving

See in order for this new way to work
The old ways have to be removed
Especially those who bark too loud
And bite too hard
I am loud, and my bite leaves marks

I believe you knew this day would come
I believe you tried to warn me
And the others

We are listening now

I'd like to tell you that
Things will be better when we, like you
Leave this place we tried to hold onto

I'd like to tell you all these things
But, they would be lies
And lying is an art I've never mastered

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