Leslie's birthday was in June, and her friends knew to shower her with red-orange glads.
I met Leslie working at a publishing business in San Francisco: we put together the printed programs for the symphony and opera. She then moved over to PC World magazine, and finally to MacWorld. I freelanced for all these publications each month during the production period—that was back in the day of doing paste-up and spec'ing photos to fit in rubylith boxes. Old school.
Leslie and I were in a book group together—she loved to read and had excellent taste in books. She also had big beautifully clear blue eyes and dimples. And a wonderful sense of humor.
At the end of my sufferingToday when I saw they had glads at Safeway, and the right color, and for only $2.99 a bunch, I had to buy some. Every year when they arrive, I think of Leslie and am glad I knew her. For too short a time, and not as well as I would have liked. But she enriched my life even so.
there was a door.
Hear me out: that which you call death
Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
Then nothing. The weak sun
flickered over the dry surface.
It is terrible to survive
buried in the dark earth.
Then it was over: that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
bending a little. And what I took to be
birds darting in low shrubs.
You who do not remember
passage from the other world
I tell you I could speak again; whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice:
from the center of my life came
a great fountain, deep blue
shadows on azure seawater.
Reading "The Wild Iris" out loud to David this evening while he cooked pork chops, I cried. "It is terrible to survive / as consciousness / buried in the dark earth. // Then it was over: that which you fear, being / a soul and unable / to speak, ending abruptly." Love you and miss you, Leslie.