I post today not a post of my own, but a poem and comments that were sent to me by my cousin, Cate Hart Hyatt. Thank you Cate, thank you Maya Angelou, thank you Nina Totenberg, thank you RBG

When Great Trees Fall
by Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

Stay safe, be well,


According to Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began tonight, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness. NPR reporter Nina Totenberg explained the tradition on Twitter: “A Jewish teaching says those who die just before the Jewish new year are the ones God has held back until the last moment because they were needed most & were the most righteous. And so it was that RBG died as the sun was setting last night marking the beginning of Rosh Hashanah.”

Rest in peace, RBG, and thank you for thinking of us until your dying day.

RBG…May your memories be a blessing 

photo credit: by Charles Dharapak –

2 thoughts on “For RBG

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  1. Thanks for this Brynn, a beautiful poem. Such a loss. I happened to hear Nina on NPR and was riveted by the intimacy she shared with RBG. Did you hear her? Aside from quoting Jewish tradition, she talked about how she and her husband were visiting RBG when Martin was very ill. The message was mainly how independent and capable she was, taking care of him and refusing help. Nina’s husband, who I assume is an MD, told RBG he had patients on Medicaid with so much more assistance than she had.

    Though her life was rich and fulfilling, I’m so sad that she’s gone. Such a light, a beacon.


    It’s busy here in Wellfleet. Busier than any of the 5 September visits we’ve had. Restaurants all open. More people at our motel than usual. Route 6—!!! The surf is up!! Windy, but we spent the day on the bay side, exploring. Everyone in masks, but when no one is around it’s a pleasure to remove them. Lobster roll for lunch at Mac’s on the dock. Yum.

    Take care, and let’s have a nice long talk soon.

    xoxo, Gerri



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