“You understand, I shall not/ If I survive you care/ To raise a headstone for/ You I have carved on air.” ~Donald Davie
Twelve years today.
There is no stone marker for my husband, who is present in every lovely seen thing. Nor is there any such marker for my father, whose ashes touched down by the academic building where he truly lived, but whose energy inhabits the subatomic universe.
Growing green and light, as a perished child gently exhorted her deeply grieving mother in The Poisonwood Bible, is the only marker my husband needs.
For a college centenary celebration, Veronica Forrest-Thompson wrote “The Hypen,” an ode to a shorthand notation that reflects both the infinite and constricted space of human time. The poem itself has now been with us mortals longer than my husband was.
Forrest-Thompson observed that hyphens’ wee lightly floating dash is used both to link and “to divide/ for etymological or other purpose.”
My husband entered this world on a December day in Maryland, and left it on March 22, in New Hampshire, but you will find neither date bracketing a carved hyphen.
His physical memorial is something that would delight him: a high school bench dedicated “In Musical Memory of Dr. Jim Glennon.” No dates need be applied. Music, after all, boundlessly reanimates and rejuvenates whatever surrounds it. Once released into our world, it never leaves us, and we are incapable of letting it go.
Three. Nearly half shorn from “8,”
but endless half-infinity left behind
Twos side-by-side: two daughters, two sons
Ones, freestanding and conjoined
Towering twins imprinted on air
and rendered in light
We look up still