Not so perfect, not so young

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Mrs. Deegan

I've had this song in my head for weeks. We've been rehearsing it for an upcoming concert, and only recently have I been able to sing through it without crying. It destroys me. So I thought I would share the poignancy with you. (I wish I could put the tune in your head as well - it's very beautiful.)

Mrs. Deegan

And now who will arrange the crystal swans
frame the petit points
roll the ribbon sandwiches

and now who will give me crocheted doilies
and marquisettes
and what will become of persian lamb coats and
three-button gloves

(okay, I'm crying already and I just started typing it.)

and who will polish the silver service
and who will spread the cutwork cloth
and set the dainty Aynsley cups in their dainty
China saucers
and who will remember the sugar tongs
and who will ask me to pour

and who will be the keeper of all the niceties
of modesty and decorum and propriety
and seemliness

and will there still be Easter bonnets
and jaunty pillboxes and silver lockets

and did I think I would never lose this sweet and
gentle refuge
that there would always be a settee
a book of knowledge facing me
smelling of gardenias and a hint of peppermint
reminiscing of normal school and fancy dance

and why did I think someone could replace her
the lady with a century of memories

and why does it make me cry that all the lavender
in the world went with her
and there will never be another trousseau tea

Poetry by Val Brandt, Music by John Estacio

I am not the only one who cries at this -- it's a women's piece, and most of us have a hard time holding it together while rehearsing it. It's the age we are, I think. In our early- to mid-twenties, most of us have begun to experience the loss of older loved ones. This kind of loss can be deeply personal, and somehow it's also the loss of a window on the past, a loss of an ideal, and a loss of the kind of unconditional regard that is so rare in our everyday relationships.

My own grandmother's health has been poor for many years, but I'm so grateful that we can still enjoy a cup of tea together in the santuary that her home has always been for me.


Post a Comment

<< Home