(In memoriam: Mary Frye Hatcher, 1948-2003)
BY ALLAN ROY ANDREWS
When Mary Frye was dying, friends at church knelt longer,
but she shied from broadcast, asked no pulpit declaration;
she had rather let word trickle through the pews.
Mary Frye sat wearied from her battle with a cancer
forging veins where working vessels should not go;
yet, she lifted hands like ferns at sun’s forced leaving.
And while she smiled and kissed us, we hugged her
cautiously, reluctantly preparing for our grieving.
Mary Frye played tunes to calm her friends for dying,
and she danced amid our wonder as we turned aside
from mourning and from trembling and from wailing.
Mary Frye delivered us our mirror of mortality.
Mary Frye died teaching. God had used her as a glance
of victory in Christ. Oh, Jesus, grant your mercy to we who
kneel with death and cower in our tears for Mary Frye.
Published in the June, 2003, edition of
“Voice,” a newsletter of St. Martin’s in the Field Episcopal Church,
Severna Park, Maryland,
where Mary Frye Hatcher was a parishioner.