For Laura

March 6, 2014

On a starless frigid night in early March

Laura left me abruptly.

With neither desire nor intention to

A choice not hers to make.

I struggle endlessly to erase

From my mind’s eye

My daughter’s broken body

Flung upon the back seat of her car.

Wanting to remember only

Her radiant smile.

The way sunshine played upon her face

Teasing golden strands from her light brown hair

Kissing soft jade into her hazel eyes.

Gentle Laura who could not bear to see

A caterpillar crushed beneath a shoe.

Who with me rescued box turtles and garter snakes

Wandering confused upon the hardness of asphalt.

Placing them upon the soft grass

And exhorting them with a nudge

To go home.

My child of nature

Easing marigolds and vegetable seedlings

Into the soil she had prepared.

Tumbling clumps of dirt and pulling up weeds

Upon her knees.

With a smile pausing to admire

The miracle of the earthworm in her palm.

My fearless child of passionate energy

Striding confidently to the peaks of mountains.

Riding the crests of snow-covered hills upon her board.

Greeting the red hawk, the lupine, the gurgling stream

Companions on her journeys.

My child-woman of infinite curiosity

For all things seen and unseen.

Who embraced life with exhilaration.

And always with grace.

My lovely child who left me much too soon.

My precious child for whom my arms now ache.

My child of sun and snow and wind and rain.

My child of the universe.