Queen of Strength, Sleep Silently... A poem in honor of my grandmother

As I mentioned in the last blog entry, my grandmother passed away in 2004. This past Thursday would have been her 88th birthday. I wanted to spend the weekend on the blog posting poems that pay tribute to this woman of incredible strength, beauty, and grace! I miss her so much.

I wrote this poem as I watched her sleeping in the hospital in 2001, and I left a copy of it with her in the mausoleum where she is now entombed. Now I feel like I'm "keeping watch" in a different way--so that the world cannot forget her. Enjoy the poetry, and please comment if you do!

Queen of Strength, Sleep Silently
(In loving memory of Adeline Zambrowski, 1919-2004)

Queen of strength, sleep silently.
I will keep watch.

Tonight I will take your place
and rule over all my eyes survey.
The knotted joints, twisted and tangled,
the wrinkled skin, so papery thin.
I'll wish it smooth and thick with life,
back in time as we're pitched through
days that dream of stealing you.

Queen of strength, sleep silently.
I will keep watch.

Tonight I'll toil to stop and stay
the tide that takes the soul away.
The labored breaths, so slow and strained,
the heart still beating, almost weeping.
I'll wish it fierce but full of peace,
rushing red through perfect veins,
youth removing stains of age.

Queen of strength, sleep silently.
I will keep watch.

I'll question our mortality
and dare command death far from thee.
We'll face the winds, though whipped and thrown,
clinging to the stars we've known.
I'll wish them to forever shine,
resisting time's unbending plan.
If you hear me, just squeeze my hand.

Queen of strength, sleep silently. I'm still keeping watch.

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

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