While You Lay Dying
by Gloria R. Buckley
While you lay dying, I will comfort you with scenes of sky so majestic, translucent and breathtakingly vast. In your youth you were as multifaceted as the Sky Islands that graced your borders. Your forests shared the soil of different states, countries and knew no distinction or discrimination. What you knew was peace and procreative species that never followed laws of oppression. As you lay dying, I will comfort you with tales of the red fur squirrel and the peoples land so spiritually native and knowledgeable of all the ways to heal yourself. Yet, there is silence because only a few shall come to pay their last respects. Condolences of regret that each one of us didn’t do more to save you.
While you lay dying, I will remember who I used to be. A woman once a child who embraced the taste of honeysuckle without fear of poison or toxins dripping down my throat. Grass that I grazed in bare feet and rolled down hills until my eyes were ablaze with only allergens of green. I wasn’t afraid of you then. I embraced you with all my heart and complete abandon. You were my partner in love, life, dreams and disappointments. You comforted me with soft rains that smelled of earth, petunias and rose water all in one breath. I believed in you, us and a glorious future of only beauty. I believed that we both were limitless.
While you lay dying, I will write your eulogy and the words of “spacious skies” will be a dream of past cleanliness, all-consuming clarity that is now replaced with masks that surely will never protect me. I made you the enemy and my indifference along with so many others carelessly corrupted your shores, your core, your sky so that now as you lay dying, I lie with you in shame, terror, and uncertainty-who am I without you? Nothing, no one, I too will lay beside you. I forgot to tell you how scared I am without you just visiting here for only a moment and then extinguished.
About the Author
Gloria R. Buckley has been published by Red Hyacinth Journal, Sensations Magazine, Alcoholism Magazine, Chimera Magazine, Journal of English Language and Literature, Hermann Hesse Page Journal, Virginia Woolf Blog, Focus Magazine, Chimera Magazine and many other journals of poetry and prose.
She is a practicing attorney for thirty years. She holds a BA in English and JD from Seton Hall. She holds a Masters with Distinction in English Literature from Mercy College. She is enrolled in the MLA and MA in writing program at Johns Hopkins University.