THANKSGIVING FOR BASIA
In memoriam for Barbara Koziel Gawronski
(December 8, 1947- November 23, 2009)
The collage she gave me
still waits to be signed – three stripes
of Polish fields, ready for harvest,
receding into distance,
a round mirror reflecting the past.
We shared the abundance of fruit
under the mellow sun
of All Saints’ Day in a Buddhist orchard.
I’ll keep her smile in the taste
of the peach, beneath the velvet skin,
dripping with juice of overripe sweetness.
She had no right to bail out
after two weeks of playing phone tag,
cancelling concerts, outings.
“Oh, you're not home,
I’ll call you later,” she said on Sunday,
her white hair a moonlit cloud.
Thank you, God, for the icy light
of the half-moon cutting the sky
with its sharp rays the night Basia died.
Thank you for the most amazing
clarity of mountain air after rain.