The Leaving

a pastel and poem, in memoriam, by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The Poet’s Walk

The Mourning Cloaks 1
accompanied us
along our walk.

“They said,
“He loved and
not to be afraid.” 2

“That was the sum
of your being,
your purpose,
wasn’t it?

“Do you remember
when you told us,

‘Go take
the Poet’s Walk along
the Hudson River.
It’s a place I like
to go?”

So today we walk
The Poet’s Walk,
joined by the
Mourning Cloaks
to say our last goodbye.

Note: 1 Mourning Cloaks are butterflies.
2 This was Kevin’s last message, written after he could not speak. The full message was, “Kevin loves and not to be afraid.” Kevin passed away 2 years ago from today.


Filed under Art, Art by Ethel Mortenson Davis, Ethel Mortenson Davis

13 responses to “The Leaving

  1. Selena Howard

    Both the pastel and poem are tender reminders of the legacy he left My heart goes out to all of you. Blessings

  2. Such courage in that last message

    And such a comfort too I imagine


  3. Your poem and your pastel are a beautiful tribute, Ethel, to your son. It must be very, very hard.

  4. Caddo Veil

    Ethel and Tom, my heart holds you close and tight today–God bless you both. Beautiful poem, art–and such eloquence in Kevin’s words. The day pierces me deeply.

  5. Prayers for you in your ongoing grief! This memorial painting is exquisitely appropriate in matching Kevin’s last message!

  6. Ethel and Thomas, my thoughts are with you on this day. The painting is beautiful, with a tender spirituality in the strokes of color. And the poem is exquisitely poignant. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Julie Catherine

    Ethel, this is a beautiful pastel, and the poem, while poignant, is just exquisite, and a lovely tribute to your dear son. You and Thomas are in my heart and thoughts. Sending you much healing energy, thoughts and prayers. ~ Love, Julie xox

  8. sonjabingen

    My mother had a dream he was with her and then broke into a million pieces…

  9. Ethel, what a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to your son.

  10. Anna Mark

    Ethel…does this image also go along with the secret handshake? There is such emotional depth to your poems, Thomas’s too. It’s a wonder we don’t break apart ourselves…

  11. Standing firm in the truth of the moment. If there is pain in the moment, it too is the part of the lesson, and part of the gift. I feel that both Kevin and you acknowledged this, one another, and your love for one another and for the world in which you stood together.

  12. I come very late to the anniversary of your dear Kevin’s passing, but I was so touched by his message and how you translated it into this poem and pastel, Ethel. Love to you and Thomas and all your family who honor Kevin’s life and beyond with such heartfelt grace.

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