Posts Tagged ‘elegy’

Elegy for Laurie

“Who am I to inspire someone else and prod a good poem out of them?  I don’t see myself in that light.” —Laurie James, poet, friend, performer, organizer, member of the tribe, in an interview with Eduardo Brummel, Write More Now, 2017

A cantankerous sparrow of a woman,
   I imagine her rolling her eyes at death
     as she lights up a cigarette and says,
       “Let’s get on with it.”

A relentlessly generous bear of a woman,
   already I hear rumors she’s visiting people
     from the other side, asking them to dance.
       She was the one who would build the nest
         big enough for us all to fit.

She was the one who’d carve us a space—
   carve it out of nothing, if that’s what she had—
     so we could gather and rock each other’s worlds.
       She was the one who knew the weight of moonlight,
         the one who went from mute to muse.

She was the one with the mischievous smile,
   the nomad with poems for a road.
     She was the one who inspired us
       to be family as we write.
         She was perhaps the only one
          who didn’t see herself in that light.

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for Laurie Wagner Buyer
I remember her handwritten letters—
her careful cursive telling
me about freezing the ripe plums
and the tree in the back yard
and sitting in the passenger seat
watching the world go by.
I remember walking with her
and admiring the sway
of her hips, her generous smile,
how everyone turned to watch her.
But most of all I remember
the way she loved to fall in love—
how she gave herself over so completely
to partnership. There are some
who love like virga—the rain
that falls but never reaches the land.
But she loved like a long steady rain—
the kind that seeps in slowly
and reaches the deepest roots.
The kind of rain that makes the whole world
glisten. The kind of rain
she might have written me about—
how it drizzles down the windows,
clings to the pane, how in every drop,
if you look, you can resee the world.
Dear friends, I am well aware there are two amazing Laurie Wagner Buyer poets. This one is about the Laurie Wagner Buyer who lived in Texas.

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Lover of still water,
you, mosquito,
will not be missed
if I slap you,
the way I don’t
miss a tooth ache,
I don’t miss a rash
or the scent of carcasses,
and yet tiny blood sucker,
before the slap
I consider how
you herald spring,
how you come bearing song
on your wings.

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