On Writing

Poem 176 – One Year Ago

One year ago

as I slept,
you slipped
your sun-fire soul
into Dolomite mountain
heaven – since then
I’ve been climbing out
of loss, my fingers bloodied
with poetry tethered to the 
stardust your laughter left behind.

You swoop in on the lip-red 
wings of a cardinal or poke 
the wind in the miraculous body
of a dragonfly. Earlier this week,
you got tangled in a spider web,
on purpose, Mom told me, your
mischief dazzling in dewy morning heat.

We’re going to the graveyard
to stand on your bones – the women
four generations thick, though we
each carry pieces of you in our bodies
holding your legacy in our limbs
pushing grief aside like a small mound
of clipped-off thread and remnants
from the wedding dress you made 
yourself, its hem still wet from the 
ocean water you crossed to get here.

And you are here
even though you are not. 

This paradox, like silk under wool,
like crinoline under cotton. We wear
you like each day is a grand ball
in your honour. Some days we weep
in the corners. Others we waltz
barefoot in the kitchen. 

Today we press together,
your heart-made pattern, 
and sew you with our words
into a place at the table.


I love you, Nonna!

Maria Giuditta Merlo Bison, my beautiful Nonna!

4 thoughts on “Poem 176 – One Year Ago

  1. This is truly beautiful. You are so gifted Vanessa! You amaze me ♥

    Love you Tracey

    On Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 9:25 AM VANESSA SHIELDS, writer wrote:

    > Vanessa Shields posted: ” One year ago as I slept,you slippedyour sun-fire > soulinto Dolomite mountainheaven – since thenI’ve been climbing outof loss, > my fingers bloodiedwith poetry tethered to the stardust your laughter left > behind. You swoop in on the lip-red wings o” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. so beautiful Vanessa.

    so beautiful.

    sending out love

    Charis xoxo

    On Fri, 25 Jun 2021 at 09:24, VANESSA SHIELDS, writer wrote:

    > Vanessa Shields posted: ” One year ago as I slept,you slippedyour sun-fire > soulinto Dolomite mountainheaven – since thenI’ve been climbing outof loss, > my fingers bloodiedwith poetry tethered to the stardust your laughter left > behind. You swoop in on the lip-red wings o” >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one of my favourites Vanessa! A universal poem of remembrance for the rest of us. Here’s a link to a Song of Remembrance on Youtube that you should watch – it mirrors in song the feelings that you bring to your lovely poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m thinking of you Vanessa as you relive a year ago today and feel the great sadness of not having your Nona around any more. Although as you say she is still with you in spirt – as she always will be.

    Your grief, fuelled by the great love you have for her, is of course the result of having had her in your life and what a fabulous grandmother and person she was.

    In your vast sorrow, please don’t forget you were fortunate to have had her for so long. Maybe that can be a driver to you, to stay healthy and live until you are at least a hundred, so your grandchildren can learn a ton of friggin good stuff because you yourself have so very, very much to offer: love, experience, wise ness and a shitload more to teach and show them.

    The one thing in you that will automatically bubble to the surface today and always when you think and feel your Nona is love.

    Take care.

    Love, Mel

    >

    Liked by 1 person

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