dedicated to Margaret Joan Kanaski, born Jan 22, 1954
by Rose Lefebvre
Countless memories envelop me in a mist,
one at a time dancing into view
to reveal themselves like vivid films.
I hear your humorous impersonations
of Lily Tomlin’s character Edith Ann,
or me answering the telephone to hear
that Tomlin phone operator, Ernestine, asking,
“Is this the party to whom I am speaking?”
Those calls always started with a smile.
You performed to lighten moods, chase away
gloomy moments, to initiate laughter,
and we all were drawn to you, loved you for it.
Arms always willingly offering hugs
of comfort, warmth, compassion,
such a natural greeting from you.
You seemed so bold and unafraid to execute antics,
and with you at my side empowering me
I could become, perform, experience
what I never would have dared.
You opened my world, helped me move
beyond limits I had on myself.
Who else could coax me to perform Big Spender
from Sweet Charity, in front of soldiers wounded
in Vietnam laying in the hospital at Camp Pendleton.
I still hardly believe it. Your quirky laughter infected everyone,
and soon we all would be sharing that special
free feeling it brought to each enjoying it.
I named you little sister, and cherished our love,
prize the precious memories stored in my heart.
Joanie, your matchless personality, loyalty and
love through all the many years is golden,
more treasured and valued, and will always
dwell within me.