These staring trees know more about you
than I have ever known. I know you
only by a name, a photo, memories
gleaned second-hand from mutual friends
who knew you when I did not.
But I have this for you: I wish you
sincere peace. I wish you comfort songs
and grace songs and songs to gently crack
the egg of your new life. I wish you bright
bursting-forth into new life.
I cannot look at these old cedar men
without thinking of you. Why did you
choose this place? Did the storm and
the dark fuel you? I fancy this a place
of serenity for you, as it has been for me,
but I do not know if that thought holds
any truth, I do not know. I have only
this for you: I wish you all that you
sought and could not find. I wish you
a compass light and a fine path to
bring you to the pouring waters that
could not in life fill you up.
I expected the whimsy grins of these
strange trees to sour in your wake,
but they did not: the sun is bright,
the air is clear, and birds are filling
the trees with songs, perhaps because
you have endowed your talents to them:
I am told you had a gift for music.
So I have this for you: I wish you
the knowledge that those you loved
and who loved you will continue to
bloom, that they will embrace you
when they embrace the sun, the air,
the melodies of songbirds singing,
that the new journey you have
embarked upon will bring you back
to them in ways you and they have
not yet imagined.
In memoriam Allen Matthew Barber