Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 26: Miracles, Camille T. Dungy, "Requiem"

As I approach the anniversary of my sister's death, I sometimes find it difficult to be positive.  I have been trying to focus on joy and happiness, to greater and lesser success at times.  In my previous post tonight, I talked about miracles.

My sister was a miracle.  One of the smartest people I have ever known.  Generous--she bought me a new car when I graduated from my Master's degree program.  Drove me down to Kalamazoo when I started in a PhD program, hauling a trailer full of my crap.  She supported me in everything that I ever did.

I know she wasn't perfect.  She knew I wasn't perfect.  Yet, we accepted each other's failings.  A couple years ago, as we were sitting in her office at the end of a long work day, she told me that she admired my strength in dark times.  My sister wasn't a warm, fuzzy person.  Didn't hug much.  But she cared deeply, loved deeply.

Saint Marty believes in miracles.


by:  Camille T. Dungy

Sing the mass—
light upon me washing words
now that I am gone. 
The sky was a hot, blue sheet the summer breeze fanned
out and over the town. I could have lived forever
under that sky. Forgetting where I was,
I looked left, not right, crossed into a street
and stepped in front of the bus that ended me.

Will you believe me when I tell you it was beautiful—
my left leg turned to uselessness and my right shoe flung
some distance down the road? Will you believe me
when I tell you I had never been so in love
with anyone as I was, then, with everyone I saw?

The way an age-worn man held his wife’s shaking arm,
supporting the weight that seemed to sing from the heart
she clutched. Knowing her eyes embraced the pile
that was me, he guided her sacked body through the crowd.
And the way one woman began a fast the moment she looked

under the wheel. I saw her swear off decadence.
I saw her start to pray. You see, I was so beautiful
the woman sent to clean the street used words
like police tape to keep back a young boy
seconds before he rounded the grisly bumper.

The woman who cordoned the area feared my memory
would fly him through the world on pinions of passion
much as, later, the sight of my awful beauty pulled her down
to tears when she pooled my blood with water
and swiftly, swiftly washed my stains away.

1 comment:

  1. May the strength in dark times that your sister admired help you through this anniversary.