The burden of the living

One last time I straightened my tie.
Unable to forestall the inevitable,
I donned my coat, picked up
the burden of the living
and left my apartment.

Into the cold, grey New York day
I walked to Broadway and turned
toward Union Seminary bearing
the burden of the living
to the scheduled service.

A cab pulled up as I crossed the street,
I noticed others walking – some I knew,
some I did not – all carrying
the burden of the living,
the weight slowing their steps

From east and west, north and south,
many faiths and colors we gathered
in the chapel accompanied by
the burden of the living
held in common, yet unique.

Strains of Springsteen greeted us.
Hearts ached, tears flowed,
as in a fog, shrouded by
the burden of the living
we remembered, sang and prayed.

Parents, siblings, colleagues, friends
we filled that sacred space
and, for a brief, precious time, found
the burden of the living
lessened for being shared.

Songs sung, prayers prayed, after
one last hug, one last, cold tear, we go
into the evening accompanied by
the burden of the living,
giving thanks for Annie Rawlings’ life.

With thanks to my friend Yena Hwang for the image
Shire on the Hudson
Manhattan, New York
12 November 2013

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Family, New York

2 responses to “The burden of the living

  1. amandacraft

    This is absolutely beautiful…

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