(For Jane Kenyon, 1947-1995)
by Marcel A. Duclos

Jane, I met you in your poetry.
You lived in Wilmot; I, in neighboring Andover.
You never walked by my 1851 farmhouse.
I never swam in your Eagle Pond.
I visited you in the shade of the Proctor oaks.
Now Donald lies beside you.

My time for hospice care is nearing.
I imagine you, the volunteer.

Jane, you lived in the natural world,
saw the hidden within,
you and Gerard Manley Hopkins,
and your beloved Keats.
You took refuge in poetry,
not unlike Emily Dickinson.

You captured the quick unveiling of your poems,
crafted them meticulous and precise.

Jane, you let us into your world.
You surprised us.
You sought to connect with us.
You told the truth with familiar, plain language.
You wrote in quiet.
You requested that we read your poetry in quiet,
that we harvest the symbols you gleaned.

Above all, Jane, you squeezed bright joy
out of your dark suffering,

You offer us hospice.


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