RECHERCHE DU TEMPS PERDU
The space cleared/is bigger than they were/...as the maker of the snow angel/ once they get up from the ground.---From “Personal Space” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 06-14-11 *
I thought it was the other way around:
When one is no longer there, he will be
bigger than the space he occupied. I
cannot begin to gather the memories
grown rampant of those I have loved
and lost, they will fill my days to the brim.
How can I run with my father through
those fields with a wayward kite? How
can I sing those goodbye songs in my
abuela’s tremulous voice? Will I keep
in tempo with grandfather’s steps when
I find myself walking up the winding
stairwells, my little palms in his hands?
Will I tell those tales of enchanted
elves and flirting fairies as animatedly
as grandmother Teodora, and hold
my own grandchildren in thrall? How
large a space must I have to grow with
them while I keep this quiet watch over
the rhythm of days as we bravely wait?
I will not be able to fill these spaces you
have carved yourselves when you were
here---they overwhelm me with grandeur.
How will I cope with the largeness of your
presence now that you have gone from us?
Like the lad who threw himself on the snow
to create his winged likeness, I find my
snow angel larger than I am achingly small
engulfed by lingering memories of your
abiding love and immeasurable greatness.
---Albert B. Casuga