Valentine’s Day, 2011

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Hearts are breaking, stopping,
not moving any more.
The saint of this spate must be playing a trick.
She was a grandmother,
too young to leave grandchildren so far behind.
He was my age, almost,
a silent sleep in the sky above.
She could have been my mom,
but mine is gone too,
what seems too long ago.
He was eleven.
Can heaven really be ready for him?
This saint of loving hearts
lost his head for the one he loved,
a jailer, with bars, but a heart wide open.
This day we pay tribute, not knowing the real story,
with hearts and flowers,
kisses and smiles.
But hearts are broken this eve,
not to be mended with a simple bow,
stitched with a pointed arrow dipped in sentiment.
In remembrance of those hearts stopped,
those hearts left broken,
and not the cherubed saint,
I look to the sky.
Because I was told, by a wise and wondrous
woman whose grandmother
laid herself down on the grass
in the heat of a summer night
and grasped her granddaughter’s hand;
a grandmother, mother, from Russia, a babushka,
told her grandchild to look at the stars
for they are only windows to heaven.
The babushka, the mother, the grandmother from Russia,
she promised to look down upon the earth,
to smile at the ones left behind,
to see their joys and pray for their sorrows,
knowing that one day
they will lay together again,
on their bellies, 
in heaven,
holding hands,
and smiling down upon us.
Author’s Note:
Today we lost a child in our school.  This poem is dedicated to Heather who recently lost her grandmother; Jim who fell asleep on a plane; Linda whose mom said goodbye; Sheila and Lita as Milt is now resting; Matthew who was eleven; and Patricia P. who tells amazing stories to help us understand.

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