Atop a rocky out-crop perched
the sylvan mermaid's heart
whose gift to man
and God alike
was poetry and art
Approach her should you wish to cry,
at tales of woes unending,
yet bask in trembling gossamer light
whose rays stop all pretending--
To be all's well, and yet stay broken-
such is life, her words unspoken.
Yet for some, life ends too soon,
but this I say, and hear me, moon:
You have not taken her from us,
but rather borrowed for a while
the soul that deemed to walk the earth
and bless us with her radiant smile.
This piece was written May 22nd, 2015, in memory of a dear friend of mine. Below is the facebook post I made while grieving. Remembering her still brings tears to my eyes and I still can't shake the feeling that there was so much more I could have done for her...
This poem is dedicated to Lucinda A. Reilly, who died just a few days ago. Not many know who she is - I reckon there's only one other person who might read this who knows her - but she was famous in her own right.
Lucinda was an artist. She got by for years selling her art in a booth on the street, moving constantly because the City often shuffled the merchant lot's around on a lottery system. She was never in the same place for long, but I always ran into her, and every time I did I was taken aback by how excited she was to see me. By how eager she was to share with me her latest painting, or her latest poem. She was such a talented artist, and so full of passion and love for her art and for her life, despite her rough circumstances.
You see, Lucinda was homeless. Many of us, myself included, often overlook the problem of homelessness in America and in our city. We often look down upon them, think they're somehow less deserving of human compassion and empathy than someone who wasn't unfortunate enough to be in their position. Yet they are human, after all, and they deserve to have their biological necessities met. They deserve clean clothes, shelter, food... Food most of all.
Lucinda died from malnutrition. The last time I saw her she had extremely atrophied biceps and triceps, her fingers were bone-thin, and her legs were twigs. Her bra - the one pair she owned - was better serving her as a belt. Her shorts, size 0, were loose on her waist. She weighed a whopping 78lbs, as a five-foot-something 48 year old, which is appalling. I did what I could for her, when I could. I often got her food and purchased her art. She always gave me discounts, but I wish now that I had insisted on paying full price for everything I purchased. Maybe then she'd have stayed alive for another day, another week.
There's no conclusion to this post. I think she'll be on my mind for quite some time. Just be mindful of your attitudes and how you treat others, especially those less well-off than you are. You never know what that person might be going through or if you'll ever see them again.