When one of us was drowning in the sorrows of this life,
She jumped right in to save her, gave months of respiration,
Provided everything, created shelter from the strife,
Like a sister and a mother, with no moment’s hesitation.

Her laughter was a life buoy in the unremitting broil
Of forbidding ambiguities, of ludicrous appositions.
She found a way to outwit darkness, make the gloom recoil.
The quip her comic instrument to thwart the dread contrition.

Her father castled on a moor, her mother prey to lunacy,
There was no way to meet her needs, abandoned from the start.
While she pumped out joy to others, her own bleeding went unseen.
Humor was the mask she used to hide a broken heart.

The rest of us oblivious, engaged in our own urgencies.
But yes, there was concern that her self-nurturing had gone too far.
She must be whittled down to fit the mold of our decree
Relentlessly she tried and failed to be as others are.

Imagining herself to be the captain of her soul, she crashed
Upon the hidden rocks, no lighthouse was perceived.
No small voice heard within the box Pandora had unlatched.
No darkling thrush to guide her to a kinder destiny.2

Whimpering to have her back, a reckless waste of time.
The glare of midday accusation scorches our concealment.
The mourning dues have long been paid, but stalking close behind,
The clanging of our negligence pursues beyond bereavement.

Regret is the one word that will not pass through the shredder.
What hell could be devised more befitting, more precise?
Now no address that we can visit, no way to send a letter.
Atonement, a commodity beyond the asking price.

The violence that we did to her, she did unto herself
And then with a rebounding thrust was done right back to us.
Was this lesson so severe meant to hone our sensibilities?
Or convince us that the misfits must be our sacred trust.