Poem for a Passed Friend

An old friend of mine passed away suddenly a few months ago, shocking friends, family and coworkers with her too-early departure. She was a light. Everyone says that, and maybe it’s always true. All I know is that it was true for sure in her case.

Here is a poem I wrote a week or so later when the disbelief had morphed into a constant haunting of thoughts, always there underneath and on the periphery. It just happened to be on Valentine’s Day. I can share it now that a little time has passed.


Hollow Valentine

On a walk,

On a half-shrouded February night,

I saw mostly bones and skulls in the half-light

It’s been a time for death


What does it mean to live a life

And then not be here


I hear the coyotes whoop,

And one by one, the calls of dogs

Drift to me from hidden spaces

Across the snow

I see the winking light above tracking

Mechanically slowly

Across the patchy pale dark

And the muted starfield beyond

When I was last on the long night flight

Looking endlessly down into the light-sprinkled blackness,

I imagined people in their cozy homes

Or driving around on highways and roads

But I never imagined a stranger unseen

Miniscule in the far below on tiny feet,

With his thoughts searching out and alone

To the distant empty reaches

– Steve Dahlberg 02-14-2012


About stevedahlberg

Moderate extremist, technology-obsessed Luddite.
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