the woman in her rocking chair

death comes quiet,

behind closed doors.

i stare at the house across the road. someone is painting walls. soon, a for-sale sign is plugged into the lawn, then a string of trucks, vans, jeeps. and i wonder, when did it happen? when did the rocking chair on her front porch cease to rock? did death happen in bed? in her kitchen, buttering toast? or in front of the tv? and how did she die? she lived alone, no one to hear her cry. no one to catch her when she fell. dying alone should be illegal. we enter the earth in partnership with another; sliding from womb, mother there, waiting to hold us. we should leave earth the same way. with someone holding us…

the air is too silent. we should all be wailing. a woman has died. a citizen, lost. a mother, daughter, sister, friend—deceased.

and soon, someone else will buy that house. with its rooms. and that someone will make new memories. will hang new pictures on the walls and have new conversations and butter new toast. it’s as though we pass the baton on, saying here, take care of my legacy by moving into my place and using my space.

but in moving on, let’s never forget the woman who once sat on her front porch, rocking. for when we forget–that’s when we begin to die.

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2 Comments

  1. Amanda said,

    March 6, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Em,

    This has brought tears to my eyes. Thanks to you, the woman will not be forgotten, even though I never saw her rocking on her front porch she is forever etched in my mind and thats all because of you.

    You are an incredible writer and we are blessed that you share your gift with us.

  2. melanie said,

    March 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Em,

    tears…my grandma passed away today, so this was pertinent. I have been thinking about the frailty of our lives…we are literally here today, gone tomorrow. Thanks for remembering this woman, and blessing her with your words.

    Mel


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