Farewell to Jenny

Last night

while I wrote remote history, last night
while I revived lowlights of my life, last night
while I cried over a spilled note, last night

Jenny died.

<<@

Jenny,
you wept
even as you entered
the scented season of life.

You felt
– long before the sickening Fall –
– ere grief’s canker grew organic form –
you felt
your roots being gnawed
by flown protectors of your youth
while your sore heart languished between
the spectral hands
of the child
of your womb.

<<@

Jenny,
the woman
that everyone died on;
a truth that consumed you.

Ashes
sullied your cloak of bright colours,
choking your willow courage, yet you fought
far past the darkest hour, beyond the point
where salt
ate your rainbow disguise.
Untiringly you stitched, yet
each time you tried to repair
the flimsy attire
the thread broke.

<<@

Jenny,
I waited, somehow knowing
that we would meet some day. Long before
I saw your face, I sensed your breath on my cheek as if
your spirit whispered to me, yet I did not guess
that our acquaintance would be 
so brief.
We met but once,
a singular meeting which conceived
an embryonic friendship, aborted
by the decree that would
steal you to eternity.
Jenny, it was an honour;
for in those brief moments
you exceeded my hopes.

<<@

Jenny,
you must have shed
a lake of tears deeper than
the raging stream that swept her
to her death. Now
the flood ebbs, eased by your stilled flesh.
Today and for evermore,
may you rest
with your daughter
in peace.

<<@

©Jane Paterson Basil

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22 thoughts on “Farewell to Jenny

    1. She was. After her daughter drowned while carrying out an organised endurance test, she was diagnosed with pathological grief. The pain never left her, and yet she went on to write and produce a play, write a book about her grief which won an award and was considered by many to be the best book ever published on the subject, and write a second play which, at the point when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given an estimated three weeks to live, she was hoping would enjoy a run in in a London theatre.

      We met at a friend’s birthday party. I happened to be sitting next to her Although I had hoped she’d be there, I didn’t know who she was when we started talking. All I knew was that I suddenly felt as if had met a long lost sister.

      Liked by 2 people

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