Adrienne’s Song

There is a cruel voice in everyone’s head.
Today mine is lip syncing that I should not
weep for the loss of a hero.
After all, technically, I did not know her.
We shared no heritage, we barely ever met.
But since when was it true that the only way
to know someone was by blood or proximity?
Some souls courageously write their lives in words
And thus teach us all how to be.
Their life is their art, as much as art is their life.
This is how we come to know them.
a resonance of souls, connecting, harmonizing
a common language beyond words and form.
It is no dream.
They speak of something deep and dear
And when you are still enough or quiet enough
Their rhythm becomes a part of you and you joyfully dance.
My beloved Adrienne,
I wonder if you know how many souls you set in motion
How many bodies sway, gyrate, tap, swirl, and swing
to the music you elevated. The music you gifted us.
Though for many years your own crooked and pained frame
hobbled on hard paths, you set the world free,
indeed you birthed us all
and allowed us to begin dancing.
I owe you my world and for this I am eternally grateful.
That is why I weep for this loss.
And to the hardened voice that would disparage this feeling,
I offer this space, this dulcet silence,
this stillness, these salty tears,
Whose phrasing you shaped AR, with your own powerful breath and
which can easily hold all, the cacophony, the immense depth of
my gratitude and the raw grief for losing a soul whose beautiful, haunting
and rousing music helped conduct the tempo and sweet melody of this life.

An Ode to Adrienne Rich, Feminist Poet, Author, Essayist – and one of my supreme heroes. She died March 27, 2012.