I still miss him every day.
The studio has a few precious touchstones,
that trigger the corners and pockets of my memory,
and light up an arc,
between this world and the next.
An impossibly thin teaspoon,
made of coin silver,
a crackled golden holiday ornament,
dangling from an old fishing rod,
a shiny little porcelain figurine,
from the Red Rose Teabag collection…
and this card,
the last we got from Polly,
to thank us for a dinner we hosted,
which features a print of a painting Ted did of their house in Chilmark.
Their spirits are free to roam now,
and while Polly visits her wind chime to keep me company in the garden,
Ted is right there on my shoulder, always,
tweaking the muses and directing the brushes.
On the island it is different.
I think it must be harder for their myriad island friends.
It’s a small place, and hard not to drive by their house,
to get almost anywhere.
Last year we all but drove off the road,
when we came around the bend and saw the old structure,
risen, like Lazarus, from it’s resting place,
and jacked up 10 feet off of the ground.
Renovations had begun,
and a skeleton remainedPeat black wooden ribs laid bare of their clapboard,
and scaffolded light pouring into the dark maw of a foundation…
the absolute void of the centuries of human life lived within.
Even my deep love of archeology and history,
and origin-of-the-species exploration that so enjoys a good treasure hunt…
was numbed, by the wave of grief and the smacked into realization,
that they were not, as I had comfortably come to fool myself…
still sitting, just there in the front room,
nodding in the wingchair,
beside the window,
with the light on.
That warm soft light
was a beacon for many a traveler.
I, for one, couldn’t bear that corner to be dark…
So, I painted it back on.