"Joy of Life" by Pablo Picasso (1946)
I never met you.
I only heard about you the day you died.
He said he got a call late at night-
Maggie is no more.
He switched his phone off
It was now silent
Just like you.
Two days later, he drove everyone
to your final resting place
He said it was the same van in which
you all went on a picnic not so long ago
The same van in which you laughed.
Now he is driving me to the airport
I look at the road ahead
As his mind flashes backward
They took you to the hospital
five days before I came
They said it will be simple.
But it wasn't
You packed your bags thrice
Third time you went
straight to the door to heaven, if there is one.
It must be heaven there
Where your four month baby waits for you
He said maybe he too will see you there one day
That's what they told him
He wasn't sure though
He said he wanted to shout loud and ask:
Why hasn't anyone who has visited that
sought after side ever come back to tell?
The truck ahead blows dark smoke in our faces.
As if to tell a message in a language we don't understand
It has been four days since you have gone
Dim lights flickr on the endless roadside
He takes a deep breath and says
This is life. This roadside
Bright electric light with total darkness at end
Everyone is sad
But he wants to celebrate your life
His voice breaks
He wants to drink and dance and smile.
I never met you Maggie.
But I celebrate your life
and the life you carried inside
And I imagine you sitting behind the welcome desk
A wildflower in your hair
Stars shining in your big black eyes
Eyes full of life like the blue nile
And I imagine that's what you have become
A wildflower, a star, the sparkling
water of nile on a moonlit night
Smiling from the cloud number nine
I never met you Maggie. But I miss you still.
And I celebrate your life
With your song born on
a moonlit night on a long drive
Like the beginning of a fairy tale
once upon a time
This song is for Maggie, who I never met and Saison, who I will not forget.