Denise Levertov

In Memory: After a Friend's Sudden Death  

(A.N., 1943-1985)

Others will speak of her spirit’s tendrils reaching
almost palpably into the world;

but I will remember her body’s unexpected beauty
seen in the fragrant redwood sauna,

young, vestal, though she was nearing fifty
and had borne daughters and a son —

a 15th century widehipped grace,
small waist and curving belly,

breasts with that look
of inexhaustible gentleness,
shoulders narrow but strong.

And I will speak 
not of her work, her words, her search
for a new pathway, her need

to heedfully walk and sing through dailiness
noticing stones and flowers,

but of the great encompassing Aah! she would utter,
entering slowly, completely, into the welcoming whirlpool.