Death of a Member of the Organization

Her passing is mentioned. We murmur and whisper—
but who here among us remembers her face?
Scarcely we knew her, but somehow we miss her.

Someone says: Tuesday, I’m certain I saw her—
one of the elders, the first at this place.
A brief intermission, and everyone whispers

and searches his memory, dimmed by a mist or
the gauzing of time that fogs all the traces
of recognition. And yet, we must miss her.

Wasn’t she widowed and lived with her sister?
There passes a breeze and our memory’s erased.
(I just can’t believe that she’s gone, someone whispers.)

Petite, I believe she was, merely a wisp, or
else recently ill—could that be the case?
How little we knew her. But someone must miss her.

For someone, she’s more than a name on a list, or
a featureless face. And now, by God’s graces
she’s gone, and just breezes and murmurs and whispers
remain, to remind us that somehow, we missed her.

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