(for Jimmie Margaret Gilliam)
By Dennis Maloney
It is a summer of sorrow. Friend
after friend has crossed that final
undefined border without guards or
checkpoints between this world
and what lies beyond.
The body is at war with itself.
Insurgents plant roadside bombs, rebel
armies attack systems without warning
and the warp and weave unravel leaving
a ragged edge behind.
The last words written, a worn satchel
of poems left behind, lines rattling around
the fading brain. We can not barricade
our hearts to sorrow anymore than we can
deny the joy of their being now gone.
These fragile objects we accept
at the passenger’s own risk. Contributor’s Note: DENNIS MALONEY is a poet, translator and the founding editor and publisher of White Pine Press. His poetry collections include “The Map Is Not The Territory” (Unicorn Press, 1990) and “Listening to Tao Yuan Ming” (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and his translations include “The House in the Sand” by Pablo Neruda and “The Landscape of Castile” by Antonio Machado. This poem is dedicated to Jimmie Margaret Gilliam, the much-revered Buffalo-area based poet and educator who died Sept. 24. White Pine Press will publish Gilliam’s final collection of poems, “Torn From The Ear of Night” in 2016.