Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Poetry Blogging: Crossing Over Edition

My life has been topsy-turvy lately. If I'm supposed to be doing something, it's a safe bet it isn't getting done. So I’ve been utterly lax in paying attention to my blog...or anyone else’s...lately.

But I’m checking in long enough to sneak in a poetry post. Until further notice, as previously implied, the official poet of Bitty's Back Porch is the progressive Carl Sandburg.

When my grandmother was in the last stages of dying in January and February, I had this vague hope that I would somehow know when she was about to, as some say, cross over. Too durn much television fueled that particular wish, I fear. Still, after she died, I hoped she’d somehow come to me...in a dream (something I rarely have, or at least remember when and if I do), in the kind of sign that people swear they get, something. We spent three nights in her apartment when we traveled to Illinois for her funeral, and I slept in her bed. I thought if anything would stir up a visit from beyond the grave, that might. However, the closest I came to any kind of sign is that I slept deeply and soundly in her (not particularly comfortable) bed, as if I were being cradled. I don’t have a habit of sleeping deeply and soundly. So.

A few weeks ago, she did eventually appear in a rare dream, although not in a starring role. She was just there, as she always was, and alive, which itself was a bit reassuring. As the weeks have passed, I’ve given up my foolishness. Although I might have it otherwise, the dead are dead.

So today when I opened my big, fat Collected Poems of Carl Sandburg, this was the first poem I saw (from Chicago Poems ):

To a Dead Man

Over the dead line we have called to you
To come across with a word to us,
Some beaten whisper of what happens
Where you are over the dead line
Deaf to our calls and voiceless.

The flickering shadows have not answered
Nor your lips sent a signal
Whether love talks and roses grow
And the sun breaks at morning
Splattering the sea with crimson.

Make of that what you will.

1 comment:

Alanna said...

Dear Bitty,

That is indeed a lovely message, and I believe you will receive more of them from Grammie.

Alanna