Today is Memorial Day, a day for remembering.
On this Memorial Day, I remember a woman whose charm was matched only by her sincerity. She loved me through my rather gangly, pretentious, and lurching teenage years. Her joy was gratuitous and her love was generative: it birthed love in those whom she loved. At least that is how I remember her. A simple woman. A glad woman. A Mary kind of woman in a Martha world. She went to be with her savior at age 37, on July 7, 1996. She went home before we were ready to say goodbye.
Here’s to Julie (and her family and friends who lean forward into eternity, anticipating a joyous reunion).
“Julie” from Sojourner Songs: Poems
read by Gary Leonard
I remember the squat, white house
and the steps,
and the peeling paint on the porch,
and the piled dishes in the kitchen sink,
and the half-cut tomato on the counter,
where Julie lived.
The house with a permanently opened door.
The house patched together over a hundred years.
The house with nothing to boast of
except for Julie
who shared her small plate of chicken,
who offered a little beauty,
who gave some time,
while songs leapt
to sing in the eaves
of my heart
An obscure house
on a forgotten street
in a small town,
but there were few places I’d rather be
than in the house
where Julie lived
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