For Ruth, 1925-2016
You lived and loved and held your love intact,
undemonstrative, pure, focused on the fact
of your determination to succeed
in bringing light, in satisfying need.
As much your need as you thought it ours;
tending seeds, cultivating flowers
that blossomed here, ripened overseas,
unceasingly returning to the tree
you planted once, a solitary copper beech,
standing still but now beyond your reach
and signifying all those roaming years
you were constantly torn between the hemispheres.
You're gone from us now and love is what remains
with us here. There's no breaking of those chains
that bind us heart to heart in unison.
Your life was wholly yours but now, our song.