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We, Burning Giraffes. » Blog Archive » A Poem For Judy Salzman (1939-2006)
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judy
Tell one last joke for the counsel in the skies,
And save me a wink in one of your eyes.

I was always too young to know you as a woman
And for that our bond was never that clear
But you’ll always look the same, when I try to get older
You’re the reason I’ll love for the rest of my years.

There’s two ways to see every moment in life
As an end or another foundation.
A life is a collection of our happiest moments,
And you are a momentous inspiration

The tops of sand dunes always sweep off
And twinkle away towards the ground.
But over time the winds change, the sand recollects,
New peaks rise up from where the others came down.

So Judy, the keeper of the loveliest eyes,
The most elegant smile which you never disguised,
Please make them laugh but delay the old punchline,
Wait til they drink, so they spit out their wine.
And you’ll take to your seat, the crown on your head,
With the tablecloth drenched in a scented dark red.
Even the angels can’t keep up with your dance,
I’m only my happiest, when I think of my aunt.
[08-08-2006]

I know this isn’t the greatest place to post something like this, it sort of tears down the mood and the image we’re trying to build for this site, but I figured I’d post it becuase this is my life and what’s happening right now in it, and probably in a few days i’ll remove it.

I figured it out though. The funeral service at the cemetary is this incredibly emotional experience for everyone, and it takes down the whole lot of us, no matter how well we know the person deceased. There is nothing sadder than thinking about the person’s husband or wife, whose life is almost entirely defined by their presence, and thinking how their life will be completely changed from now on. They are alone, casting the first shovel of dirt back into the grave. I couldn’t even do this myself. I couldn’t handle that today. Not for Judy. I couldn’t bear the thought of putting something above her. Yet there is something sacred about the whole process of death. As my grandfather, who I never met and who I am named after, often said, “no one escapes.”

The burial at the cemetary is this straining process. The humans get stuck in the grip of the strainer when all is said and done, and the angels twinkle down and fly away. It sets them free and there’s always one more angel flying away with the crowd that came in.

What really got me was when Steven (my mother’s older brother, Judy’s beloved husband and the love of her life since age 11!) said with tears clouding up his eyes, “well, she had a good run.” Even writing this is hard for me right now. It’s so simple and archtypical a statement, but it fits so perfectly into this slot. Thinking about this powerful image of Steven in the chapel glaring at this gorgeous photo of Judy (the one above), displayed above her casket, will be a painting in my mind. And I’ll never forget it, and I’ll never forget this, and I’ll never forget Judy.

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