Posts Tagged ‘Laurie James’

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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