Wednesday, June 18, 2008


In the Summer of Moths

For Alice Woolf
(June 18, 1916 - June 3, 1997)


Yours were the hands,
purple and knotted
striking the keys to
make music from memory.


Yours was the voice
weaving memory and myth,
croaking the stories we
craned our ears to
hear,

ready to laugh with
you, Alice.


Eighty years of life
you aimed to conquer--


Frontier girl,
long-jumper,
rule-breaker,
horse-breaker,
bone-breaker --


Fast as a hummingbird,
silvery as your weight of
turquoise jewelry

until the weight of
pain would slow you down,
you never missed a trick, Alice.



Nearly Christmas eve
you missed a step,
body and soul plunged
down the dark stairwell,

breaking almost every
bone but not your spirit, Alice.


Through the narrow
rabbithole emerging,
pinned like an insect
to the hospital bed

Stubborn butterfly, you
willed your promised freedom
from the white cocoon.



Crucified woman, cast
in a halo crown of thorns
who freed a hand to tear the tubes
from your own throat
while your guardians slept?



You would breathe, and
you would arise.



Trusted healing hands
would hold back death
till it be merciful,
and swift.


No thunderclaps or
lightning, on an
ordinary day

you stopped the world.



Did you dream of riding
bareback through the
aspen,
racing to the ridgetop
of the ranch,
ageless matriarch of
wonderland?


Sky-wide your heart,
yet could not hold you
longer,

June-Bug Alice, this
summer of moths,

You were drawn to the
light.

Linda Weissinger Lupowitz


(Alice B. Woolf, 80, passed away on June 3, 1997.

She was a teacher, artist, musician and rancher who lived at Circle A Ranch in the Cuba, New Mexico area for 45 years.)

Here's a new rose in the courtyard, only hours in the full afternoon sun...

2 comments:

leslie said...

This is a stunningly beautiful tribute.

chickenlil said...

Thanks, Leslie - this was a woman worthy of a tribute, one small poem was not much.