Oh, Stephanie

Here’s an unpublished poem I wrote for my father after Stephanie passed away.

Oh, Stephanie

How I grieve for the silence of the gardens
   where once your sweet voice rang out in joyful song
How I grieve for the emptiness of the night
   where once you kept it filled with light and laughter
How I grieve for the solitude of the beaches of the cala
   where once you danced barefoot upon the sand
How I grieve for the quiet of the dinner table
   where once it overflowed with your cheerful discourse and philosophy
How I grieve for the thirsty citrus and wilting flowers
   where once they drank mightily from your tender care
How I grieve for the coldness of the bed
   where once you kept Patrick warm
How I grieve for your great love, my father,
   now alone as never before

His life begins again
In a world
More silent
More empty
More solitary
More quiet
More thirsty
More cold
Than any man by rights should have to bear

And yet….

And yet

We will go on
He will go on

We sing in praise of knowing you
We laugh in memory of your good humor
We kick off our shoes to tango and twirl
   on other beaches in other lands
We talk among ourselves,
   stirring up thoughts, sharing ideas, as you would do
We tiptoe gently through the orchards,
   garden hose in hand to restore the sweetness of the fruit
We offer comfort to a lonely man,
   that it will warm the darkest nights and keep him company

Oh, Stephanie

We miss you terribly
But we will go on
As you have done
As you would do
In song and laughter
In dance and discussion
In gardens and and in love

As you have lived
So shall we

As you have lived
So shall, I pray, my father

Oh, Stephanie