An Angel Song

She came in the early evening;
just after sunset but before the darkest of night.
She came unsolicited, never dreamed for or called;
un-bidden, un-beckoned,
not out of desire or belief,
she appeared.

To my left at my bedside
with soft and warm countenance;
gentle conveyance of details of a
dusty, dark diamond-patterned dress,
and gray hair curled close to her head;
withholding proof by a vagueness of terms
or earthly language.

In silence, we shared moments of gaze,
the one upon the other until I became afraid
of the woman beside my bed,
my fear prompting her to pull aside the veil yet further to say,
with cause, clarity and assurance in a language of love,
“Just look away and you won’t be afraid anymore.”

I did, and I wasn’t. And she was gone.

Weeks later, alone and together at the kitchen table,
drinking wine with my Mother while my father slept
at the top of the farmhouse stairs,
I tell her of the woman, the vision, the dream?
But before I am finished, she is weeping and completes
the description of the diamond-patterned dress
as the one they chose for her Grandmother’s burial,
ten years before my birth.

She takes another drag from her cigarette and says,
with eyes sparkling from a sentimental cocktail of Chardonnay and memories,
“That was your great-grandmother honey.
I am sure she just wanted to see what you looked like.”

And we never spoke of the visit again.

Sometimes in the deadest of night,
in the torture of recycled conversations and circular thoughts,
I feel a terror of certain death.
I get afraid.
I get scared that I have been wrong to believe in the eternal.
I question for panicky gray moments the meaning and extension of a tenuous life.
And sometimes what brings the calm to my soul
is remembering the silent soothing power of these words again,

“Just look away and you won’t be afraid anymore.”

My Grandma Summe’s courage and love-enough
to cross time and reason of man
is proof-enough for me of eternal things made good.
In the bleakest of my faith and loudest of doubts,
her angel-song sings me back with Love.

4 thoughts on “An Angel Song”

  1. Mmmm. This has heart. Pulled into the story with the images and feelings. My own concerns. Poignant Christmas time memory. The kindness of God.

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