Tanka -5-

by Lee

                            defying Death’s pull

                            pale blue eyes, wild hippie hair

                                    granted extra years

                            to search for the right window

                            and know the beauty beyond

                            ~ ~ ~ ~

                            © Lee Samuels

                            ~ ~ ~ ~

I offer this verse in memory of a good friend who passed last Wednesday at the age of ninety-three. Four years ago she was given six months to live. My friend tossed out that verdict and lived on as if she was twenty and just getting started with her life.

Frances was a hippie who – thank God – never grew up. With the exception of her final month, spent in a nursing home cubicle, she lived her life free, easy, and entirely on her terms. In her last days she asked for nothing more than a window to sit by.

Frances donated her body to science and asked that there be no immediate service; she liked the idea that students would learn from her body then hold an appreciation ceremony for her a year from now.

I’ve no doubt that the heaven she’s gone to is tie-dyed, full of wildlife, and packed to the ceiling with thrift store finds . . . and that she has her choice of windows to sit by.