A Poem by Helen Rowntree
She has disappeared.
After having her hair brushed,
And her nightie changed,
After taking a spoonful of oatmeal
And a sip of tea,
After having her tears dried
And her nose wiped dry—
She has disappeared!
The form is still here, lying motionless and empty,
Serene and silent and cold—but She—
She– has disappeared!
Where did the tinkling sound of her laughter go?
Where did the soft child-like voice go,
The sniffles and clearing of the throat?
The breaths escaping through her parched lips
Have now dissipated into the air—the air
That’s blowing through the open window.
I can’t feel the warmth of her touch,
I can’t see the twinkle in her eyes,
I can’t hear the sound of her slippered feet, shuffling over the tiled floors.
Where has she gone?
Is she hovering above us,
Watching, listening, still loving and caring?
Has she disappeared into everyone and everything?
Is she nearby in a parallel life
–unseen, unheard, untouchable?
Will her tinkling laughter now be heard in a running stream,
Skipping happily over pebbles and rocks in a nearby river?
Or is the infinite cosmos her ultimate destination?
Will she be traveling the universe,
One of millions of particles of cosmic dust,
Wrapped in a nebula, dancing in space.
If that’s so—she has not disappeared.
She is everywhere and nowhere.
She is back at the Beginning that had no beginning,
Where time is space and space is spirit, buoyant and endless.
If so– she is where she will never disappear.
I am an original member of the Friday Writers’ Group that’s met in Sonoma for 18 years. I was born in San Francisco, have lived in El Salvador, Chicago, and now Sonoma for 23 years. I’m married, retired from business, and my hobby is writing.