All the Lovely Normal Stuff
Mary Soon Lee
In Memory of Amber Miro
sliced bagels, put them in the toaster;
poured juice into plastic glasses;
read my book at breakfast,
interrupted by my son telling me
seemingly every one of the cartoons in his book;
sorted out bills to pay, stamped envelopes;
walked down the road
in the blue sky sunlight;
watched my daughter stretching high
to put the letters in the mailbox,
and then the ritual race
back up the hill;
all the things I'd done a hundred times,
all the lovely normal stuff
you used to like to hear about.
Poet's Notes: Amber Miro was my best friend since I was six or seven years old. When I was in her company, I was exhilarated and slightly wilder. I didn't get into trouble often when I was a child, but the little I did get into was mostly with Amber. She died of cancer in 2012. In an email message written the month before she died, she told me that she wanted to hear about "all the lovely normal stuff." And the week after she died, I tried to write about it.
Editor’s Note: Mary does a fine job transforming the quotidian into the poetic in this moving elegy for her friend.