I am Not the Poet

We sat at a table, huddled around, debating. It was the day of my Grammu’s funeral. The sister club had been asked to read something scripture is what they had in mind. But, with half of us devout agnostics, we decided that wasn’t such a good idea.

After spending days searching for the right poem, I finally just wrote one. It’s not my best work. I cringe at its triteness. Yet, I wrote it for Grammu. Now, the only question remaining, would anyone be able to read it?

My Aunt Janis, solved the dilemma.

“You know,” she said. “All the grandsons get to play a very special role as pallbearers. It’d be nice if the granddaughters could do something.”

“We’ll read it,” Sister #3 said.
“I can’t,” I cried.
“You don’t have to, you wrote it, that’s enough.”

So on that somber day my three sisters got up in front of a packed church and read:

I am not the poet you dreamed to be
Now I scramble for words to express
A love so large and a grief so deep

I am not the poet you dreamed to be
There are no words that can explain
Everything you gave to us
Everything you meant to me

I am not the poet you dreamed to be
The words do not fall from my fingers
My pen is washed away
A river of tears carrying the words

I am not the poet you dreamed to be
But now I dream of being the woman you were
To love with a fierceness words cannot convey
To be loved with a depth no ruler can measure

I am not the poet you dreamed to be
But the love you inspired
Passed down from mother to daughter
Will fuel our lives
A legacy for poets who dream to be

I tucked the original poem written on a yellow legal pad, with scribbled out words and smeared ink into her casket. I thought she’d like it.

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