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