I was convinced she would never leave even though the truth of it ran alongside faster as she slowed in the end a quiet moment took the comfort of her large dog self and tucked it in the sky now her gaze is a soft kiss on clear nights when the stars are watching
________________________________ For my Newfie Aggie July 23 2009 – August 28, 2021
I see you there
perching lightly on
a distant dancing star
watching day approach
even with the turn
toward the sun
the dome of night
will hold your shine
for you were legend
in your love of life
and light the hearts
of watchers here below
not my loss I thought
a friend’s friend gone
sent down the mountain
by pleasure seekers
of lives below
or dreadful consequence
this sudden gap
where once a friend
stood in the heart
is feathered now
with small things
of cloth or lace
dug from the snow
song and image
remnants of a
rich creative spirit
its light now dimmed
but not to be
all sensed and felt
by strangers like myself
who at a distance
mourn her leaving.
the loss of a creative soul is universally felt, whether we realize it or not
At the piano I watch small fingers make their music so determined so well done the joy in her eyes is in my heart joking laughter with her brother so much taller than the last time more movies made and volumes read a classroom visit sticky hands and icing gingerbread embellished a dog asleep in sunlight the rhythm of lives cherished and held close in memory to be enriched once more
This prose poem was written as I read about the events in the lives of two very dear members of an online creative group I belong to. it is posted in recognition of profound love and loss, and my abiding gratitude for the love of my family, as we gather together this week.
On my way home the penny dropped. It was one of those early fall days with a vivid blue sky, the kind that surrounds me with color and sensation, my brain revving up from the joy of it all.
Passing Fitzwilliam Road, glancing at the road sign, I thought no kidding, really? Let’s see now. Driving home, our road is Mountain Road and I’m headed toward Mt. Monadnock. Coming up from Troy, Monadnock Street ends at Mountain Road with a perfect view of the mountain behind our house.
Hmmm, folks from Marlborough call our road Jaffrey Road, because of course, that’s how you get to Jaffrey from there.
And that was it. I was in. I had hacked the country road code. Road signs mean what they say around here, for the most part, anyway.
There is, I’ll admit, a Road Number Four which meanders from Route 12 past a beautiful marsh, woods with streams, some interesting old houses and a farm stand before ending at Templeton Turnpike. So, not all the time.
Chalk that one up to a misguided flatlander. Which I’m not anymore. At least not a flatlander, and I’m fairly certain about the other.
Living up here has been a heart’s wish for a long time. It is obvious to me now that I followed the right signs, one at a time, to end up at the foot of this mountain.
Back in 2005, the one thing I was certain of was the need to leave the city, the house we were in, the life we led, to a simpler place, to be near family. My husband Mike was not well, was not going to get better, so we migrated north.
It was wonderful for both of us to be closer to nature, in a town where offseason rush hours emptied the streets by 6. Better, but I never felt truly at home. It just wasn’t simple enough, wild enough, but I’d accomplished what I set out to do with the move. It was okay.
Fourteen months later life took a drastic turn, when Mike died very suddenly and unexpectedly. He had been sick a long time, and the man I knew had been gone a long time as well, taken by the effects of Parkinson’s and dementia. The long goodbye on a road with no signs.
By the second month anniversary of his death I saw quite clearly that I could either fall apart on the 19th of each month, or use it as a celebration of what was positive in my life, a mile marker of achievement, something to applaud.
So I did just that, each month celebrating the milestones, letting Mike know, as I touched the sign on the memorial bench outside our community center. Hey, Mike, guess what?
And so it went, mile marker by mile marker, to dating for the first time in almost 40 years, online no less. Meeting the man I would marry four years later, moving to New Hampshire in 2009.
Living first in a charming old school house in Peterborough, nice enough but it was temporary. Aggie, our Newfie puppy, came along.
The next spring we found and bought a wonderful old house, built in 1796, next to an iconic pond with the mountain right behind it. The woods full of owls, deer, coyotes, birds, smaller creatures.
A year ago, after much searching, the road led to Horace, my dream lab pup. He is my joy and Aggie’s boon companion.
So here we all are. At the intersection of two roads leading to the mountain. And that’s how I got here, by reading the signs.