Formal Portrait of Susan

My Sister!

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My sister was born Susan Juanita Denton on March 8, 1956 in Austin, Texas.
She died on December 6, 1989 of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
I don't say this to shock, merely to inform.
Like me, she had tried to commit suicide before.
Most of my poetry was written the year after her suicide,
to help me deal with my anger and my loss.
My sister was a beautiful person, with a husband, a little boy
and family and friends who loved her.
She had been living with Multiple Sclerosis for years...and happily.
She was always smiling, even when having to walk with two canes!
It was the brain aneurysm, totally unrelated to her M.S., that was her undoing.
The first surgery, the doctors went in on the wrong side!
After the second, she was never the same.
She didn't last long after that.

I miss her very much, even after all these years.
We used to comlpete each others sentences. We were that close.
I know she is with God, now and watching over us all,
especially her little boy (who is actually not so little anymore).
Below are a few of the poems I wrote to her.
Thank you for visiting this page.


"Susan as 'Gigi'" graphite on paper 4"x3"
Denton '77


Letters

My darling daughter,
Where are you now?
I search my heart.
I find nothing
But pain.
Is that all you left me?
I shed tears,
Something new.

My sweet sister,
Why did you leave?
I'm still angry with you
For taking my only way out.
Can I forgive you?
I don't know.
You were my best friend.
Now I'm alone.

My young wife,
What do I do now?
We suffered together
Through all the pain.
Yet you chose
The wrong road.
How do I explain it to him
As he grows?

My dear Mommy,
Was it my fault?
I'll never know.
I can't remember your face.
Are you in Heaven?
That's what they told me.
Just one more question,
Did God let you keep the gun?

Denton '90


Happy Birthday, Susan!

Detail from Dark Light

I went to see your stone today
And shed a granite tear.
The day of your birth
Marked with flowers,
Not candles.

Your son has your eyes
Gray-blue, like the stone.

I remember another day.
The sky was dark:
Lightning, thunder, snow.
You were late
And threw the cake,
But you made it.

She was getting better,
The doctors said.
Four days later
She was dead.

I'll see her bronze
In four days time
And shed another year.

Denton '90



She set sail
for the sea,
without me,
she set sail.

With the tide,
for the sea,
without me,
by her side.

Times I tried
to set sail.
I did fail,
I confide.

To set sail
and to be
one with she
was my grail.

Desire died
to succeed
without she
by my side.

Now the tide,
not for me
and the sea,
not my guide.

Life prevails
and I'm free
from the sea
and the sails.

Some day sails,
I will see.
For the sea,
I'll set sails,

With the tide.
And we'll be
together free.
Love abides.

Denton '98


My favorite photo collage of the two of us together.
I keep it on my dresser.


Susan's tombstone in Marbury.



Painting:
Detail from "Dark Light" (1989 & 1997) oil on canvas in 3 panels 28"x44" overall



How did you find me? Email me with feedback at: dgregdenton@yahoo.com
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They may not be copied in any form without express permission of the artist.

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