A Gift for Thorne

This poem is a gift for my friend, Thorne who posted on Only the Good Friday about grieving for her grandson on the day she would have been celebrating his birth.

Desert Singer

There’s a child
singing softly
in the desert
through the night.
There’s a child
singing softly
in the desert.

Speak softly of lost children
Whisper their names from ear to ear
Speak softly of lost children
Don’t let them disappear.

She is the Keeper of Names for the gods. My people believe that there is power in a name – the power of forever. As long as a name is remembered, the soul lives on. There is no death as long as one person remembers. The gods remember those whose names they hear.

She sings the names
of lost children
in the desert
to the wind.
She sings the names
of lost children
in the desert.

Sometimes a child is lost to us, taken by the wind, or the sky, or the water, or the spirits. Sometimes a child never breathes, never dances, never loves except in a mother’s heart and hopes. These are the children whose names she sings that the gods will remember them and keep them safe.

From the desert
to the mountains
through the canyons
to the sky,
she sings the names
of lost children
so their memories
will not die.

I think of that child in the desert today, in a world of planes and cars, of roaring trains and rushing people and wonder how hard it is to remember, to keep all the names, to sing them loud enough for the wind and the gods to hear.

No child should be lost. So I tell you:

She was my daughter. She never breathed, but in my heart she danced and sang and was loved. Her name is Sara.
Remember.

Sometimes at night, my brother walks beneath the trees with the ghost-shadow of his son. He would be five this year. They would be fishing and playing ball. His name is David.
Remember.

She might have been my sister had she grown to take a breath. Sometimes I watch my mother watch my children and see the shadow in her eyes. Her name was Catherine.
Remember her for my mother.

She was your neighbor’s daughter. He might have been your best friend’s son. She could have grown to enchant the world. He might have married your daughter. His name was Anthony. Her name was Alicia.
Remember.
Whisper their names.

Speak softly of lost children
Whisper their names from ear to ear
Speak softly of lost children
Don’t let them disappear.

– c. Deb Powers

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2 responses to “A Gift for Thorne

  1. Oh, Deb. What a precious gift. I thank you and whisper:
    Bishop

  2. Oh, my. This is just as poignant and powerful every time I read it. May I please post it on my grief and loss page (linking back to you and applying your copyright, of course).

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