Just nine days before her thirty-second birthday
her short, beautiful life came to an abrupt end
early morning call; come quickly: too late there
fingers so limp in life now begin to stiffen
soft brown eyes become fixed on unseen horizons

Her name was Katerina. Went by Katie less often Kat
she reached out through her blog as “katsscribbles”
undaunted by confinement to life in a wheelchair
a warrior whose feats live on in her poetry and art
always eager to strive for that far away destination

she was my friend and confidant, she was my daughter
her passing leaves a terrible emptiness in my life
I ask myself “why Katie and not me?” and I cry
she was young and vibrant while I am getting old
as the song says “Farther Along” we’ll understand why

I loved you in life and I still love you in death
goodbye my daughter I’ll meet you in Paradise


So I honked my horn

when you probably can’t help how fast

that poor car goes

I’ve driven cars that wouldn’t accelerate over 45

But it had been a bad day

and you were anonymous

when you pulled out in front of me

There by the theater near my favorite restaurant

my angry tooting could have been as much because

you are young and blond and couldn’t wait

and I am old and slowing down

Valerie Gilreath, 1995