My Sister – June 30, 2014

WARNING!  This is not one of my usual poems, it’s more a reflection perhaps.  Yesterday a woman jumped off Riva’s clock tower, which you’ve seen very often in my posts.

My Sister

I read sweet lines of poetry
Built in majestic symmetry
Clothed in shrouds of haunting rhyme
Born in life’s too sad tragedies.

Metaphors and obscure wordplay,
Powerful wordy artistry,
Delights me as I read the fruit
Of word weavers at their very best.

Broken hearts and broken dreams
Flow weeping on white pages.
Romantic tragic harmony,
Tears my hear from out my breast.

And then there are the angry words
Denouncing worldly savagery …
War, death self-righteous pageantry
With blistering ringing tones.

Oh to have that craftsmanship,
For the homage that I want to write.
For a sister who left life in tragedy
A rainy summer day in June.

A woman jumped off Riva’s Tower
Yesterday as it struck the hour,
Before the eyes of hundreds passing,
And still no one knows why.

What might have made a difference?
Why did she see no hope?
I avoided looking at her corpse,
Though I saw her just the same.

My feeble words just can’t express
The futility that I feel:
They’re just a cloud of emptiness,
Dust motes swirling in my brain.

No, I don’t know who she was,
Where she’d been or why she jumped.
But I wished I’d had the power,
To touch her and hold her back.

Faceless she walks beside me,
Not knowing her, yet I write for her.
This homage is for her, my sister,
She walked her path the best she could.

15 thoughts on “My Sister – June 30, 2014

    • It was such a sad occurance. We’d just gotten back from our day trip on the lake and saw all these people milling about. One of Franz’s friends told us what had happened just a couple of moments before we’d arrived. Hopefully her family will find peace and am so sorry for those families that were in the piazza, this is a popular family spot in the summer.


        • There’s the rub. As I mentioned, it was lunch time and full of families, lots of kids. A lot of people go there on Sunday morning, it’s full of restaurants and “gelateria” and that day there was also free sandwiches for all, offered by the city. So there were lots of kids around. There was only a brief note in the local paper about what happened…cynically I think that being tourist season that not the sort of thing they want publicized. Obviously the tower is not closed to the public, I image they’re going to put bars on the “windows”.


  1. What a beautiful and moving poem, Georgia. Only tears can come after reading such hardship for the woman who saw no future or had to end her pain and for the community…for you are all grieving. So very very sad. It breaks my heart to read how families, children were witnesses to such a tragic end as well. A young boy of 6 came to my group of children and bereavement years ago. At the start of the 10 week workshops, I told his father that in the next few months it might be wise to tell the truth, that his mother had taken her life. On week 10 the children who had lost a sibling or parent, ages 5 to 8 were drawing and some writing letters to tell to heir dearly departed. The little boy said he was relieved his mother did not suffer like his friends in the class whose parents had died of a terminal illness. His mother had died instantly jumping in the subway.His father explained to him that her “illness” pushed her for she would never have left him. I will never forget that beautiful little boy.


    • Thanks for sharing this beautiful experience with me. Death of course is always with us, whether we wish to acknowledge it or not. But when encountered with at such a young age I think it can leave some terrible scars. I admire how you help so many young people.


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