Your Name Was Courage

Even now
I remember
Your laughter
And the sound of your voice
That gentle country twang
You were small in statue
But larger than life
When it came
To faith and strength
You fought so many battles
In your life
Your name was courage

I remember your favorite
The Sunflower
Fitting that it would
Be something so sunny
And majestic.

I still miss those
Twelve page letters
On College ruled paper
And quick emails
That kept us updated.
I miss three hour phone conversations
And words of encouragement.

I remember the Macarena
I could never dance
And you a double amputee
Right leg below the knee
And partial left foot
You never let it stop you
You grieved
On occasion
You and I shed tears together
Mingled with the words
Best(est) friend
Sister of my heart.

The Scent of ripe peaches,
And boiled peanuts
Remind me of that Summer in “02”

I can still see you
Sitting there with your son
Watching cartoons
And reading story books
Doing the things Mother’s do
I knew how hard
You fought to provide for
That little boy
Never letting him
Go without.

It was ten years ago
Back in February
I dialed that familiar
Number I still remember
And heard the sorrow
In your husband’s breath
Before he even spoke
The words.
“She’s gone.”
I knew.
With his voice
Thick with sorrow
And tears
I heard him say
“Michelle she kept every letter,
Every poem, every card you sent
In a box under the bed
Often taking them out
To read over and over again.

I remember when you found him
After your Son’s Father
A true monster
He was everything opposite
Your laughter and your tears
Your strength and your courage.

As I remember
I think of your son
Only a little boy
Not yet ten when you
Now a grown man
Not far from twenty one.
I wonder what he’s doing
The life he built for himself
And I know wherever he goes
She’s smiling down
She’s smiling down
At all those she loved
And those who loved her.

(C) Michelle R Kidwell


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