Sunshine haven is neither one of those things and I don’t mean
To start this story by grabbing onto the hind end of it first but I gotta say
Some things in this life are mighty peculiar,
That is how I’ll start.
If you’ve never heard a bunch of coyotes calling in the wild
It’s hard to imagine but some people say it’s soothing to them of course
I think they’re lying to themselves and God,
And making false peace with the devil.
They sound to me like some escaped mental ward that breaches it’s gates
And runs madly off into the dark desert screeching until
It is finally rediscovered and reconnoitered,
And returned to the stillness of night.
Or it is like a million wailing mothers all lost and windswept on
The same hill mourning for their babies sometimes in unison
But often in dissonance, even the harmony
Has a way of unnerving me.
But this particular night I welcomed the sound I considered it company
I wished for these wailing souls to visit me if even for a little while I
Was more sad and lost and confused and in need of company,
Than I can ever remember being.
Her hands were as bony as a dry desert gulch and the color of old newspaper
I hugged her taut skeletal frame as our time our final time stretched like an
Friend into eternity where it will probably remain forever goodbye grandma,
I have known you forever but you knew me first.
Those eyes have always been the soul of the world I know you would save
Me from the very pain of your dying if you could but that power
Is long gone from you now like the others,
Receding into this darkness.
Now lingering is pointless I know the flowered dress that I brought you today
Is your dying dress and in our final hug you whisper with
Rattling breath have a wonderful life my sweetheart and,
Lots of it.
Grandma I always wished that on that final day of our last parting I could
Have some good cheer because you’ve always said you loved my smile
So I’ve smiled when I could but my last words I’m afraid,
As usual were rather stupid.
I will never forget you grandma and I think I heard your very last giggle
Of course not Mike, I’m a big part of you and then
I stumbled on my tears and the final walking out,
And wound up on this mesa.
With the insane ranting and raving of the coyotes or the maddening silence
Of the cosmos, this dying is young to me but
I think it’s getting old stars are born and then they die,
Just like the people you learn to love the most.
This desert wasting eons on blister and bake and freeze
Not a drop to drink or waste
And all around the spectacular stellar junkyard of the milky way there may be
Songs being sung.
But what does that matter it doesn’t but for two things first
It is not out there it is not you grandma, it is not me it is bigger
Than us and yet it is us
We cannot be apart from it even if we actually wished so.
Second, you tell me you’ve learned there is a peace beyond this I guess
You’ve reached the point of knowing but
I will always miss you and wish you could live a virtual eternity
Like a star.***