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A Poem for Laurel 
Hedy Straus

Please send a poem through me
Let it spring onto the page
fully formed
Lines that distill her essence
her Laurelness

Let me express what it was like
to lie back in my recliner
settle in for a leisurely phone visit
Laurel is who I’d call when I faltered
lost confidence in myself
Laurel is who reminded me
that I could do it,
whatever it was
Laurel is who I wanted to share the joy with
the triuimphs,
even the pain, the unutterable pain

So many times I’d find her
grieving, bereft
She made friends with others
who struggled as she did
people with cancer,
exhausted caregivers
those ravaged by grief
She opened herself to each one,
right from the start
She didn’t protect her vulnerable heart
and each time it broke
she mourned fully
the way she did everything
All in, she planted herself firmly
in the midst of her life,
in the lives of strangers and friends, new and old
her beloveds

Please let me give myself over
the way Laurel did
to her enthusiasms, her causes,
her curiosity, her passions

Let me live the no-holds-barred life
the only life we have
Let me nurture my Laurelness
in memory of her
in celebration of who she was
of how she still lives
in each one of us