Keystone Poem by Bill Galvin


Rating: 5.0

Had to get off this island of self exile,
For to find myself someplace else to be.
Had to change the horizons,
Before it all got the best of me.
My aim was toward the mid-Cape,
And a quaint little clam shack there;
Maybe the pull of a full moon
Influenced this trip back there.
The Canal bridges beckoned me, about noon,
And I’m so antsy, I just have to move.
Don’t often go in high season,
But today I need little reason;
I’ve got nothing to prove,
Just got to get back on the road.

On the way back home I get a call…
The craftsman says “It’s beautiful; and installed.”
He tells me the months were worth waiting;
The artists he found did great work,
And now he has finished the stone engraving.
It’s an unexpected gift today…
“David, I am so grateful.
I’m going to go up there right now.”
“Bill, everyone did a wonderful job. You’ll love it.”

This is the keystone…
The piece at the apex of my tribute to a lost love.
No piece of stone has more importance
In an archway or a dome;
All falls down without the perfect design.
The keystone locks all others in place.
The classic bridges of architectural antiquity
Could bear no traveler,
Viaducts would supply no water,
The Renaissance chapels
Would supply no wonder without one.

This stone finishes the bridge
Across the chasm between here and eternity;
Where souls can communicate freely
From one shore to another;
From a beautiful meeting place now complete.

I turn the last turn on the cemetery dirt road,
And the polished black granite stone
Comes into grand view, like I expected it to.
But I am not ready for the perfect beauty;
The flawless workmanship;
The exact interpretation of my design.
Tears of gladness reach down for my cheeks;
Not those of sadness,
As the grief of loss is blunted, a bit dulled;
Though not gone.

“Beautiful, ” said the craftsman. How right he was.
A perfect expression for the love we had.
I feel a weary fullness, a satisfaction, much like
After reaching a summit from a long, steep trail.
And I can be appeased there are no loose ends
When I go on the road again;
Visitors can have a solid meet with Deb,
If they please.

And she has her wish fulfilled;
Her family lie nearby, and others living close by
Enough to visit the small town girl,
Who once told me so fervently,
“I cannot be far away, or no one will visit me.”
She now has her welcome mat out.

And the first visits are from the robins,
Probing the green, grass lawn;
And sparrow families flit tree to stone;
A pleasant, warm day’s breeze combs the trees,
As Life shows us how it goes on.

I see her smiling, with her open heart;
Her bright eyes shine in the hand-etched portrait;
“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die”
Is etched on the front.
I’m playing the song she asked us to hear
At her service… it’s her goodbye to us.
“Keep me in your heart for a while…
If I leave, it doesn’t mean I love you any less…
Maybe you’ll think of me and smile…
Hold me in your thoughts; take me to your dreams;
Touch me as I fall into view…
I will be right next to you.”

You were missing us; you loved living; loved life;
But you’ll always be in our hearts,
As long as we who loved you walk this earth;
So you will not die to us.

I smile inside… but,
Tears of gladness now change to sadness,
As your message reverberates in my chest;
And tears are dripping on the stone,
As I prop myself two-handed, head down, weeping.
I still say it’s more glad than sad.

This is everything and more…
Four artisans did their finest work.
I stand reading the eight line epitaph I wrote
For the back of the stone.
It’s a perfect font and size.
The craftsman did a fine job,
And did not charge me for this big extra work.
I read this to you a few times before you passed;
I don’t remember ever getting to the end
Without hesitation or tearing up… like now.
The important thing is, you liked it.

A deep inhale for the breath of my body,
And you remind my soul,
That as my guardian angel,
I now need to set new sails;
And though the seas may roll,
You are holding me from above
With your abiding love;
And you’ll help me not to fail,
Or fall along the way,
And help to keep all things right,
Stay balanced; decide wisely;
Seek less darkness, and more light.

As I leave, I look back,
And a lovely songbird
Has found a new perch on your granite stone.

A pleasant, warm day’s breeze combs the trees,
And Life shows us how it goes on.


Friday, July 31, 2015
Topic(s) of this poem: love and loss
Paul Warren 01 August 2015

You must have loved her greatly, a truly fine piece which links together your grief and what she meant to you. Thankyou for sharing this precious piece with us.

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Bill Galvin 01 August 2015

Much appreciated, Paul. We were true soulmates.

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Akhtar Jawad 31 July 2015

A pleasant, warm day’s breeze combs the trees, And Life shows us how it goes on. An amazing poem................10

1 0 Reply
Bill Galvin 01 August 2015

Thank you, Akhtar. I am happy to hear when someone appreciates a work.

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