GRACE FOR ANN

I dread for you the tearing of clouds.     

Stay.

 

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 

          from falling

                    crimson.

Slow. 

 

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.

No!

 

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,

          twisted, unraveled,

                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 

          still swinging.

You are so much taller than I.

Go. 

 

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

                   weep ice

                          where you once stood.

Tall.

by Patricia Tiffany Morris

(For Ann Carlson TIffany, my dear mother, who went home much to soon in 1985, 5th Revision December 2018)