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Baby Blue

October 25, 2012

You will rest your head, your strength once saving.

And when you wake you will fly away, holding tight to the legs of all your angels. Goodbye my love, into your blue, blue eyes, your blue, blue world,

you’re my baby blue.

– Dave Matthews, Baby Blue

The moment held too much air yet not quite enough. The candle flames blurred a bit as my heart ricocheted in my chest cavity, which felt simultaneously cavernous and quite small. The cocktail party, two rooms over, hummed and sent bursts of punctuated laughter into my space.

There it was on the wine bottle: Baby Blue.

I looked around the room, searching, I suppose, for some other connections, an indication, perhaps, or proof, that this was no coincidence.  Along with the billowing curtains and the October night, carrying the scent fermented leaves, I stood alone with my memories.


Present and past | collide

two threads tangled, knotted into palpable

breath-held reality.

Baby Blue.

Suddenly, every nuance weighty with converged significance:

black lab walks in

burst of wind

Candles flicker

Earth, rain-soaked breezes dancing on potted, hot orange flames.

Life flickers.

Four truncated days | to hold

to say Goodnight to the Old Lady Whispering Hush

to love

to greet and bury

to say Goodnight, Goodbye.

No steps celebrated.

No nails clipped.

No cakes baked scrapes kissed sibling arguments birthday balloons popped cookie dough eaten. No vacations tantrums time-outs. No late-night fevers nursed.

A funeral | A hellogoodbye.

Grief. Agonizing, brutal, suffocating coal-black,

leaving tenacious smudges through decades.

Baby Blue dancing on stars/ Bouncing on Red Balloons,

Baby Blue on a wine bottle in my hands,

memories billow in the October night,

lazy leaves meander through the dark

suspend then

pass inky tree trunks

mosaic on the earth

of what would be should be the beginning of your ninth year.

Eyes stinging, chest cleaving,

I tip the full bottle into my empty wine glass.

I raise it and nod to the emptiness, the fullness, and

you, Baby Blue.


In loving memory of my nephew, Michael. October 19 – 22, 2003

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2012 12:47 pm

    Oh I’m so sorry Denise! This is a beautiful poem and this must be such a tough month for you. Sending you and your family love.

  2. October 25, 2012 5:22 pm

    Oh, Denise. This is so beautiful. What a gorgeous way to honor his memory. xoxo

  3. October 25, 2012 6:22 pm

    Beautiful. I am sorry for your loss. Hugs.

  4. October 26, 2012 10:36 am

    Denise, I cannot even begin to imagine these feelings, but your exquisite words invited me in to them. I am so sorry for your loss. xo

  5. November 4, 2012 10:29 pm

    Denise, so sorry for your loss. These words nudge the soul to feel the hurt of this haunting pain.

Give me your grit.

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