Quaker Gathering for Alice
It is simple.
In the center of the room is a table.
A candle is on the table.
A vase is on the table.
In the vase are yellow daffodils.
In the vase are white daffodils.
It is spring.
They burn yellow like yellow candles.
They burn white like white candles.
Sunlight shines through the windows.
The windows burn white.
The walls of the room are white.
We who are quietly gathered
quietly remember her.
We who are softly gathered
softly remember her.
She was simple.
For ninety-five years she was a candle.
For ninety-five years
the storms could not extinguish her.
For ninety-five years she was simple.
Now she is simpler still.
She is simpler than candles.
She is simpler than flowers.
She is simpler than years.
She is simpler than windows,
than sunlight through windows.
She is simple.
by JR Solonche
Editor’s Note: Some poems transcend grief in order to remind us that memory is the most important tribute.