This sonnet launches ASI’s How We Die series of paintings that will examine the ways in which people die to how different cultures deal with death. This artistic journey is designed to provide a safe way to explore death thereby eliminating our fear of it so that we might really know what it feels like to live.
Five years ago I lost a dear high school friend in a car accident. In that same year I was honored to be a part of another young friend’s dying process (cancer). Both were named Maria. I wrote this sonnet for my two friends. Seems spring was a time for dying for Marias in 2006.
ITALIAN SONNET FOR TWO MARIAS
Death pries open the sash we
Try to slam on its grubby affair.
You can’t have her! Stillness…no roar?
The Call, a valley weighted by a lumpy Fog.
The Knell, shadowless imps. They breathe
God’s stillness touching you everywhere,
Every here, every there, a spaceless, timeless future.
You go out with the tide of ubiquity.
What is it I thought I knew slumped
Over the correctness of my life? Assess
Her human-ness by her courage of opinion,
Dear Lord, by her easy laughter and unapplauded
Kindnesses. As she passes through the proverbial gates
Even YOU will be awed by the one You have taken.