September 18, 2013

When I'm Gone

I've never seen myself as a poet, but I do consider myself a story-teller.
I wrote this poem five years ago while watching my mother read a bedtime story to my two-year-old niece Freya. I thought about the time when my mother wouldn't be around to do this anymore, and I imagined she might write a letter to her. I've never shared this before a few weeks ago, and I'm giving it to my mother tonight.

A Letter to My Granddaughter on Her 18th Birthday (Freya's Song)

My Darling Dear
My Guinevere
Though I have been absent now
For many years
And perhaps you no longer remember my face
Covered with folds like the pages of a book we once read
Of kings and fairies
And things that might be
When you sat small upon my knee
Before succumbing to your bed

I wanted you to see, my queen
That my stories are not yet through
Though I’ve taken my place
Among the bards of yesterday
I still reach out from time and space
To tell one final tale to you

Your future is a living story
Empty pages to be written in
With ink that cannot be erased

As you start on your adventure
Do not rush towards stories end
Notice lilies in the morning
Count the stars that end the day
Real heroes are not forged in glory
But in quiet journeys along the way

The greatest deeds a champion does
Are those we do not write about

Real moments that make up our lives
Are more important in the end
Than all the dragons we have slain
Or fleeting glimpse of unicorn
These cannot match the sun at morn
Or the smile of a friend

Dream big
Act small
In kindness
And my queen
Do not forget
Each life is a chapter
In a far greater story
Written across the universe
It is the small words that weave
Our stories together
Be thoughtful with pen
When contributing
Your verse

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