koralleen (koralleen) wrote,

Remembering Marsha

I thought about my pal Marsha a couple of times this week. On Sunday, a large part of the sermon had to do with how our society deals with death as opposed to other (healthier was implied) cultures. The examples were all of people who had died after a period of preparation, but Marsha died unexpectedly. Her family tried to put a funeral together but the service was so un-Marsha that most of the people attending felt awkward, peevish, and amused in varying proportions. It certainly didn't help that the rent-a-priest called her "Martha" half the time. When we got around to placing her ashes we were able to do that in a more appropriate manner. Performing a Marsha-friendly goodbye act made a big difference in settling her death in my mind.

Marsha was sweet and venomous, generous, clever, and jaw-droppingly profane. In the few years that I knew her, I watched her sever relationships with unforgivably cruel words. Even so, many people who had suffered her vitriol did stick by her. Being friends with Marsha was like whitewater rafting or some other exhilarating, dangerous ride. A treat for thrill seekers.

And today I was pruning outside. I will never do yardwork without thinking of Marsha and here's why:

Four Traditional Haiku

late morning. Made
a pitcher of iced herb
tea. Now to dig holes for new shrubs
and plant.

Sweet dog
rests on lawn chair.
Why can't that fucking dog
learn to use a shovel? He knows
I'm tired.

Why can't that old
lazy dog drive up to
the hardware store and buy me a

Black dog
costs me huge bucks.
He sighs in the warm sun.
So why can't I do that while he
hauls ass?

--Marsha Kadesch
ca. 2002

Later she explained that she knew the form she used was cinquain and so should anyone else who went to junior high school. A beautiful person, Marsha was. I'm glad we met.

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