Julia Ann Thompson: 6th anniversary of loss
Each year since Julia's death in a car crash, August 16, 2004 is a day to pause to remember her in a special way. Here's what I said for Julia's fifth anniversary. Each year changes my relationship to this date.
The last poem of "Sightlines: A Poet's Diary" is "Anniversary." You can listen to it on the audio book "Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music." Just scroll down and click. The poem begins like this:
August 16, 2005
Julia's one year anniversary.
You've been in the world of my ancestors for a year now.
Six years older, you always went before me.
Then, last year, you passed through.
I can't say “passed on.”
No. You'll never pass on.
You're too fierce and present for that.
You passed over the waters in the famous boat.
Probably rowed it yourself.
Come on, confess. Didn't you?
Said to the helmsman.
“Sit down, take a rest.
Let me take over for a little while.
You look like you haven't slept in a million years.”
And, while you were at it, redesigned the boat
for greater comfort and speed.
Sewed some new boat cushions on the way over,
Then, docked, stepped out on that far shore.
Claimed it as your own.
A year. How can that be?
I woke up a year ago:
my life was about to be changed forever.
this date would be carved in flesh and blood.
How innocent I was that morning.
That morning when I woke up,
To learn more about my sister Julia A. Thompson on Riehlife type her name in the search box at the top of the home page on the right.
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