This is for/about my niece, Suzanne; her cancer is no longer treatable.
“The October night comes down; returning as before
Except for a slight sensation of being ill at ease
I mount the stairs and turn the handle of the door
And feel as if I had mounted on my hands and knees.”
----- “Portrait of a Lady;” T. S. Eliot
A golden afternoon,
Late October, and my thoughts
Are all of you, Suzanne…
Vestiges of your being
Appear on visages of
A hundred different people;
But none are you, not one
As green, as golden.
Hard it is to know no miracle
Will mend, no giddy hope assuage,
The scourge that slowly puts an end
To our valiant green and golden girl.
Memory takes us to days of indolence,
Of innocence, of children lying on a grassy levee,
Deep in lush, green, summer clover --
In sunlight almost as golden
As your hair -- beside a flowing river
Bearing away our golden hours,
And the painless green of youth.
Now, in your green room, reclined
In shadow, our golden girl reposes.
Your courage lights the coming night
That does not dim the gold and green
You always shared, and still you share.