Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Your Presence

Today at lunch in the outdoor café
I hear your laugh but don’t turn.
Summer salad with strawberries,
walnuts, and romaine fills my plate.
My fork finds its way to each perfect bite.

I hear your laugh again, hear the two of you
talking about your classes and the girl
you met at the Ray’s game.  I order
white zinfandel and dark bread so I can sit
until you laugh again.  You say, I’ve got this, Mom!

My tears mingle with the raspberry vinaigrette.
You walk out with your arm resting on her shoulder.
The pain moves into the pit of my stomach
as I drink deeply and see you through the pink fluid.
I’m thankful you have blonde hair, and you aren’t tall.


Mary said...

I understand, Judy. This poem makes me sad. Grief surfaces at unexpected moments...years after. Hugs.

Judy Roney said...

Mary, sometimes in ordinary days I feel slammed back into grief even after these years. It just takes a sound, a place, a smell, a word. It all seems so delicate and I am convinced it is a lifetime sentence. The difference is my ability to go on after being hijacked into that pain. I am thankful for that. I know your loss is so new still and different because of that. Time does help though. You just have to trust that it does, I know.

Willow said...

Dear Judy, this is such a powerful, incredible poem. The juxtaposition of the lovely salad and the overheard conversation that reminds you of your tragic loss, the voice, the questions, looking through pink fluid. The ending your "saving grace," otherwise dissolution, blonde hair and not tall. A tragic, powerful and brilliant poem.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Oh, Wow! What a touching poem. This is really powerful.
I look forward to hearing you read next month at Coffee With the Poets, Judy.

Peggy said...

Very touching Judy. Grief is always there running underneath ready to slip in when we don't expect it. Hugs.