Requiem

From wikimedia commons. But…the picture that would BEST go with this poem? It’s on the side of a fridge somewhere, or somewhere in a big dusty photo album, or framed by someone’s bedside, or in someone’s wallet, or or or…

As we scroll through our newsfeeds
And text one another
And see post after post after post
And listen to the news
And speak to one another
Of her passing –

As we mourn her presence
In our world, her strength
In the face of adversity, her voice,
Silent –

As we claim her loss
With our own grief –

As we remember
Her work
Her dissent
Her fearlessness –

I can’t help but think
Of the shiva-sitters, her survived-bys:
Her children
Her grandchildren

Gathered together at home,
Sometimes hushed
Sometimes noisy in conversation
Celebrating a woman
Who sometimes kept condiments past their expiration
Who always answered the phone a certain way,
Remembering together
What soap she kept in the guest bathroom
Which living room chair was her favorite
What stories she read them
What kind of hugs she gave
How her hands felt to hold them

I think on them, and I see
Our own grand pain
Our outsized grief and agony
Writ small,
Etched deep.

in memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 1933-2020

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