My brother-law was a loving and much-loved man and the father of four children. On Jan. 25, 2000, he died suddenly and tragically by committing suicide. He was a casuality of a common and much misunderstood illness _ depression. I wrote this the night he died.

                -- Pauline Rankin aka Leah

To David _ January 26, 2000

I have stood on the borders
of that grim bleak landscape
where you crossed last night.
heard the vague, seductive whispers
peace. rest. sleep. no pain.

I've been yanked back by my own hands
the same hands that threatened my life
took my life back
and with those same hands
I donned my jester's mask
my masquerade
put one aching foot ahead of the other
to live, to love to blink
at small everyday miracles

I would have sent you an angel,
to show you a world without you
to tell you had a wonderful life

sent you a shooting star
the first flower struggling through the snow
kryptonite to give you strength
x-ray vision to cut the fog

tonight I am raging at your patience
your goodness
and your deadly silence
wishing you had raged
about the tangled net that was suffocating you
not gone gentle into that good night
while you were trapped in that shrunken world
where only you and your pain existed

I know that place
where you no longer see the faces
of those who love you
or why they love you
where your pain is greater
than the pain you will cause

when poppy dust is more alluring
than the yellow brick road

How can I blame you
for not resisting
the gray killer
who moved your hands
your carpenter hands
your baker's hands
your fatherly hands
turning them into executioners

I will not ask you "why"
if you had answers
you would not have done it

you take your secrets with you
locked in that terrible logic
only suicides understand
no time to bargain
or break the deadly contract
no last minute pardons

I'll try not to be angry
because you went gentle into that good night
hope the sleep is as sweet as you hoped
I hope in the country where you now travel
you carry some memory of our love.


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