This poem was written two or three weeks after my friend Jestine died. She had been in the hospital again, a series of hospitalizations, and I kept intending to visit her. But never did. On one particular day, I felt an urgent press to visit her. It stayed with me all day. But I had a party to go to. Later that day I found out that she had died and, strangely, everyone who loved her had received some sort of spiritual call and had all for no reason unexpectedly turned up at her bedside while she died. Except me, her best friend. It's a regret that stays with me. And now, I listen to the still small voice more urgently and carefully. -Carole
Grief Poem for Jestine
I did not visit you on the day you died
although my mind was on you
all that day
when I mentioned visiting you
my driver said
the hospital parking fee was high
and I said
I might call him anyway at 3:00
but then at 3:00
another friend called
and invited me over
and although you’d been on my mind all day
I immediately forgot you
the afternoon sun was so bright
oh so very bright
and the afternoon air was so sultry
and for five months
I’d been forgetting you anyway
so it was easy enough
to forget this time
although the thought of you
on that particular day was so pressing
and never once
all that day
and all that night
as I worked that party
did it occur to me
that this hospitalization was your last
And that you were dying
And that God was telling me
to visit you to say goodbye.
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The most touching poems to me are the ones that are true - this one touched me.
Carole, probably a hard one to share, but thank you, for it reminds us that God speaks to us constantly. A very moving poem. - Jay Cookingham