For M

Gustav Klimt, Apple Tree

40 years ago, a miscalculation,
a split second, ended your beautiful life.
They came to tell me.
I felt your spirit, like a shadowy angel, hovering over me,
comforting me. Then you were gone.
For weeks I secretly cradled you, holding you in my arms.
I imagined laying you down to sleep among apple trees,
sun on your skin, soft grass under your soft body
which no pain could ever reach again.
How I ached to give your life back to you.
You were gentle and kind and full of fun,
and I would have traded places with you
oh, in a heartbeat.

Now I imagine you wholly joyful, wholly free,
somewhere in the vast love that fills everything.
I smile, hearing your laughter,
remembering your dancing eyes,
and the way the dark hair fell across your forehead.

May gladness from the deep glad heart of God
flow through you.
May you have life and life and life and life,
world without end. Amen.

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