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In memoriam Sue Goldie, 1939-2010

‘My golden girl has gone.’ Mike gave me that first line
the Monday morning when he phoned. The afternoon before
she’d travelled quietly beyond us. In his voice
I heard the full acknowledgement of absence, loss.

No poem, eulogy, not music even is equipped
to make of absence, presence; to restore the loss.
We’re here to bolster with our love those most bereft,
and with what instruments we have, to say:

We knew a woman rare in beauty, great of heart.
No truer spirit of conviviality
inhabited the earth; no-one more open-handedly
imparted gladness. She was laughter given flesh.

Sister, mother, lover, wife and friend:
she lived life as intended, to our benefit;
and children in their thousands whom she taught
are living tributes walking in the world today.

If memory needs something physical to cling to, it could be:
her eyes, in which the light of holiday was always shining;
or her hair, an outward glory of her nature, which was golden.

Audio file

Listen to this poem — read by the author