This week we mourn the loss of a literary legend, Maya Angelou. Many of us have special memories of how her words have affected our own lives and our appreciation of poetry. Recently, Maya Angelou honored The Upper Room by writing an endorsement for her friend Lucimarian Roberts’s book My Story, My Song.
To honor Maya Angelou and her hard work of writing in a way that encouraged others in their literary journey, reflect on these words from another writer and poet, Roberta Bondi, as she shares her feelings after her mother’s passing.
I can’t imagine how people get through life without friends.
I couldn’t have survived without them
since the day Mama took a turn for the worse,
or even worse, a turn for the worst.
Theoretically, our souls rest in God
and this is true,
so long as we don’t understand this resting
in terms of being someplace else.
In fact, our souls in pieces rest in our friends
who bear the face of God for us.
I’m pretty sure talk of the image of God
implies something like this:
on into combinations we cannot describe
and can’t recognize when we come upon them.
“But who are my friends?” I ask,
and the answer appears to be obvious.
The ones who love me,
who traveled a long way to be with me
in the face of Mama’s death.
The ones who wrote to me,
the ones who didn’t call when I couldn’t talk,
the ones who tried to call and I couldn’t talk,
the ones who sent cards
whom I barely know.
The ones who sent me love and I knew it,
also the ones who sent me love and I didn’t know it.
There are special friends to whom I bow in gratitude.
But there are also friends I’ve never met and never will,
who bless me by their presence in the universe.This poem is an excerpt from page 61 of Wild Things: Poems of Grief and Love, Loss and Gratitude by Roberta Bondi. Copyright © 2014 by Roberta Bondi. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Available July 2014.