Monday, January 9, 2012

to tante dorothy, whom i love

Missing the lost is not productive,
but it is helpful. And perhaps,
the remembering is a sort of homage,
a nod to say "I know you -
I know you were here."
Like a small brass plaque
placed where a great tree once grew.

I will tell my children
"She liked to speak Norwegian,
she adorned her own blue cupboards,
she had fair hair and she taught me
how to fry crisp, hot cookies -
in lard, and she traveled the world."

I will tell them she saved
everything, wasted nothing, because
(as my own mother once explained to me)
she remembered the feeling of not quite
having enough. Maybe I will mention
her stubborn self-sufficience;
surely I will speak of generosity,
and how she fiercely loved her family.

Missing the lost is not productive,
but maybe it is helpful; a little
yearning lessened, small sadnesses
exhaled. These are the things
I will remember,about you.
I am here to tell my children
where great trees once grew.
I know you. You were here.

Top photo courtesy of LorinSweers Photography


  1. So beautiful and thoughtful, you talented girl.

  2. Sidsel Helles√łyJanuary 10, 2012 11:17 AM

    Beautifully written about Dorothy.

  3. Thank you. She was very dear to me.