Radonitsa for a Foster Son


Radonitsa for a Foster Son

tree-255334_640Were you sitting in the oak tree last night?
I thought I saw you, white wings and twinkling
eyes, long legs folded, yet ready for flight.
And then you were gone. You left me puzzling,

Where did my long legged heron boy go?
Did a green haired river sprite play a song
with nimble fingers on fiddle and bow
and beckon you to follow her along?

Or was it simply time for you to fly
to another world beyond what we see
wings spanning the whole of the starry sky,
now stretching to embrace eternity?

With unclipped wings, fly away without fear.
I did not hold you close to hold you here.


**Note: After we had been married just over a year, we took in a 9-year-old foster son who had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair and required a lot of care. After he left, we kept in touch for awhile. Any number of times over the years, I tried to find him and when I finally did, it was his obituary. He had died at age 24. 

How do you grieve 20 years after someone dies? I chose to call this a "Radonitsa" after the Day of Rejoicing--commemoration of the departed--celebrated in the Russian Orthodox Church. 


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I think the last line, \" I did not hold you close to hold you here\" really speaks to the caregiver in me.


I have read this poem several times. Each time I am touched, moved, haunted by it. Your use of imagery is beautiful.