Last week’s post—“Dancing In The Dark”—received many comments and emails about sleepwalkers who were understood or misunderstood, who were glad they had sleepwalked or wished they hadn’t.
Several years after I fell and cut my leg while sleepwalking, I asked if you were going to write about it in a poem or a story. When I asked, I don’t know if I hoped you would write about it…or hoped you wouldn’t.
You were sitting at the table, typing and retyping some of the stories and articles you’d written in long hand in your notebook. You looked at me, smiled and shook your head. “No,” you said. “You should be the one to write about it. It’s your story.”
It took me many years to finally write about that night of dancing in the dark, and you were right. It was my story to tell, in my own time and my own words.
This week, because you can no longer write—nor even remember—your poems, I’ll post them here for you. I’m just the typist, copying them from pages in your writing folders. The words are yours.
Two Haikus, Two Seasons (Mary Shepherd, circa 1980)
Little black birds swoop,
Flitting and dancing near earth,
Swarming on corn stalks.
Whiter than lamb’s wool
Snow shimmers on mountain peaks
Buffeted by winds.
The next poem is one of my favorites. Six lines show your love and appreciation of all children. In your opinion, the common ground among all people is their children. This poem later grew into more writing about children you had met in China.
Common Ground (Mary Shepherd, circa 1990)
There is common ground among people,
Wherever they are in this big world,
Who gaze into eyes of the children,
No matter the culture or color,
And see there the love of the parents
Who know that their children are priceless.
November 10 is Forget-Me-Not Day, Mom. It was originally set up as a special day to remember family and friends who had grown apart or died during the previous year. On this day and every day, although you have forgotten much of your life and your writing, your family has not forgotten you.