A Poem for an Angel, for Marie
The other day I posted a poem written in honor of my mother-in-law, Marie. After struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease for over ten years, she finally passed one week ago at age 93. And she really was an angel – kind, patient, considerate, caring – everything one could want in a mother, mother-in-law, wife, sister, and grandmother.
That night, about one in the morning, a line came into my head, seemingly out of nowhere. (That’s how most things get into my head. I’m not sure what it means!) The line was “An Angel Went to Heaven Today.” I used that as my starting point. Later, the word “Went” was changed to “Flew.” The next line that came to me was “an Angel’s here with brand new wings.” And the original tentative title was “With Brand New Wings.” This was how the concept was was born, and this is how I usually work. One line. Work from there. It might start at the beginning, then be moved to another place, or even, in some cases, end up as the last line. (Actually, in some cases, the original line ends up never making it into the final draft at all.) In this poem, I ended up using it to start each stanza, except for the last one, which was used to sum up everything else. By 3 AM, I had almost everything done, and then touched it up here and there with a few minor word and format changes. I continued to look at it, think about it, change it, tweak it, and think about it some more, always looking for a better word in every line.
Above is the full version, set against a photograph of her using an Ipod several years ago. It came out, I think, pretty well. I hope you agree. This is a tribute. We miss Marie greatly.
Please feel free to comment!
©Daniel Mark Extrom. 2014. All rights reserved.