GRACE FOR ANN
I dread for you the tearing of clouds.
Tears rain strong.
On bitter threads unraveling
cords of friendship swung.
Our mother graced in clothes spun tight
Woven half a life.
I fear the winds may snatch this cloth
tried long in storms of tempest tears.
Fragile, worn, tossed in darkest night
could not stop the drops
I dared not climb the frail oak tree
nor taste the salty storms.
With you I learned to name the winds.
Thought I was tall enough.
Drops bitter swept from ruddy cheeks
and salt turned sweeter still.
Your heart held long the rainstorm's rage
shaking, kneeling, fists uncurled.
You sailed with grace; my courage frowned.
No. Not yet. Not now.
Waves of fire washed into breath.
And cloudy hours rocked waiting songs.
Fighting. Sighing low.
We pleaded, entreated, and battled failing wars.
We needed you to stay.
You wanted home.
You are much taller than I.
Yet weavers unskilled in storms of this weight
could not stitch fabric tied,
season after cold wet season
inch upon tired inch
into dawn’s bright solitude
Clinging to the Vine, the fruit of God's Love,
born your last wintering season
You laid down in formal black dress.
I could not wear thunder graced only for you.
I could not hold the winds
at the entrance gate
You are so much taller than I.
With you I learned to push the clouds away.
With you I learned to drink the rain.
You were much taller than I.
Save me a place
by His tree with you
where a river flows
and storms no more rage.
Threads poised. God's grace met your time
unraveled and worn.
And folds of blue clouds
where you once stood.
by Patricia Tiffany Morris
(For Ann Carlson TIffany, my dear mother, who went home much to soon in 1985, 5th Revision December 2018)