The moon was two days from full
As i left your funeral party
that bright beacon in the sky
guided me away.
You were my roommate for 6 months
Our room was a battle zone
no human, dog or cat was safe.
We were armed for serious combat
10 pillows on each bed.
anyone who entered was in deep trouble
fair game, targets for missile practice.

37 years of difference between our ages
We bridged that gap with pillows
colliding in the air between our beds
with the dull whap of feathers wrapped in cotton
flinging our joy and laughter at each other
with wild abandonment.

When we got tired of fighting
 we would settle on the floor
making strange paintings with
no particular subject matter.
Splashing paint on paper with the same
fierce passion as our pillow fighting.
One day you asked me this
"How is it that you got to be 52
 and still haven't become an adult?"

I grabbed you by the arm and dragged you out side.
Made you run up and down the long drive way five times
shouting orders at the top of my lungs
like the maniac drill-sergeant from hell.
You bitched, complained and cursed me
with all your might
 and when it was all over you did
 3 more laps at top speed
just to show me
Just to show me.

When i got sad, depressed and down
you grabbed me by my arm
and dragged me out to the drive way
yelling 5 laps for being such a grumble butt.
I ran and ran and ran
until i collapsed laughing on the cinder road
with the weight of your 13 year old body on top of me.
Where are you now my challenger?

200 people pass by your coffin
leaving flowers stickers and tears
I am so weak i can hardly stand.
My legs feel like noodles.

Your mother runs her hand
slowly over each picture on your casket
quietly straightens the flowers placed there
and removes a tiny truck from the coffin lid
time stands still for us now
we must lower you down.

Your father sits alone on the edge
of the yawning hole that holds your body.
In his hand is a clump of earth
small fragments of sand pour from his fingers
as if he intends to bury you one grain at a time.
Not one of us can bear this task.

Your special grand pop Ozzie took the first fist full
and hurled it onto the coffin with brave force
The sound of that clatter, stone on wood echoes in my ears.

Your teacher is nearby
squatting close to the ground
a bright bundle of incense in his hand
clearing the air for your passage
His face is red with pain and sorrow
So much love and caring.
He cleared his life for you,
hours out of every day
to give you the education you asked for.
Geography, history, religion, biology,
He filled your mind with knowledge so that
You would not be empty departing from our world.

May your spirit rise Elizabeth
like the feathers in the pillows we threw to the sky
May you be free.

-Padma Lhamo