Submitted by: Barb Jennes
My Tribute: Adam was an incredible musician and fine human being. He and my daughter were very much in love, but they definitely saw the best and the worst of each other. Adam’s family set off fireworks every year on Christmas Day. I saw a video of this year’s display posted on his sister’s Facebook page and was inspired to write this poem:
Remembering Adam, After Watching the Fireworks
As a girl upon a swing
I’d point my scuffed toes to the sky,
stretching higher with each try,
and strain to slip the greedy cling
of Earth, escape its grasp and fling
my aching soul to some high home
where none but kindred spirits roam.
Even now, I’ve had to face,
I feel the longing in my toes
as bleakly now as long ago
when heaven meant a white-wrapped place
like cotton. Cloaked in its embrace
I’d peer o’er cloud cliffs, fearless though,
and jeer at sorrows left below.
Today they lit the fireworks
and watched the blazing bullets blast
a path through darkness, stopped at last
by dark hands that, like jailers, lurk
to snatch back those who strive to shirk
these Earthly bonds, to soar beyond
where small feet once schemed to abscond.
And yet I saw in this attack
that when they reached their apogee,
exploding in bright majesty,
only fractions drifted back
and what those ashes clearly lacked
was the thing that seemed to cease –
the glimm’ring essence, now released.
Have you found it there with you,
where all things kindred, kindly, go?
Where the swinging girl below
once set her target, vast and blue?
Does the lightning, now renewed,
shine its brightness in your sphere
while only ashes linger here?
And this I wonder: is she there –
the shadow of a world-shy child
who, seeking solace, often whiled
her daytime circumscribing air
while yearning for a lesser care?
For this I know, without a doubt,
A part of her has flickered out.
Yes, she walks there with you, I know,
Where only kindly kindred go.