Today I had the privilege of being part of a writing workshop led by James Lecesne, co-founder of The Trevor Project. The workshop was about writing to our younger selves, something that was beautiful, poignant, and tear-inducing. It really left me reflecting on my own life, my voice, and how far I’ve come in the past 6 or 7 years.
James Lecesne signed my copy of The Letter Q, the book he edited in which the workshop was based.
During the writing portion of the workshop, we wrote letters to our younger selves. At one point, I found myself writing about my Grandpa (Buster)’s death, and the impact it had on how I’ve responded to deaths in my life since.
I also started thinking about Lauren, my friend who took her own life two years ago.
Perhaps this is cheating a bit, but for today’s writing prompt I was asked to write about a social issue, touching upon “light” and “dark” stuff. The poem I wrote the weekend after Lauren’s death came to mind… so here it is.
“La Mort de la Lumière”
KB (copyright 2011)
At night I feel the warmth of your fire in my fingers;
the light flickers as golden embers slowly fall.
To my heart I hold you close–
an evanescent moment of serenity–
as the cold, bitter wind blows fiercely
and threatens to make you disappear.
I realize your time is fleeting, and your glow will disappear,
yet I expect you to stay ‘til the last of the wax drips onto my fingers.
When you first came to be, you were held fiercely–
protection for a single flame destined to fall.
Until then, I embrace your serenity
and let your beauty stay close.
I wrap my hands around you, holding you close,
not knowing that you are fighting to disappear,
not knowing that you have a plan to find serenity,
and simply uninformed that you are slipping out of my fingers.
I continue to hold you, trying to protect you from the fall
as you continue to fight time fiercely.
Your flames begin to burn me fiercely–
a sign that the end is close–
but I do not know you are about to fall.
I do not know your light will disappear,
and I do not know you are escaping my fingers.
In this moment, I find only your warmth and serenity.
I sit in the shadows, your glow creating my serenity
as the night winds begin to hit me fiercely
and I start to feel tremors in my fingers
as I fight to hold your warmth close.
You fight back, wanting to disappear
and already beginning to fall.
I wail as I realize you have started to fall,
and an eerie brightness confirms your serenity
as you lose the last of your oxygen and disappear.
I bawl and weep, sobbing fiercely
as the existence of your light comes to a close
and I learn I will never again feel your flames in my fingers.
Once you disappear, I slowly begin to fall.
My fingers search for a sign of serenity,
but with the loss of your light, I fiercely cry. Your time has come to a close.