i trace the exquisite lines of my grief, run
my fingers over the contours of the rock that is
my gut like the tender potter over his clay
kneading, kneading to soften the lump

and lift my head to find the
world hadn’t ground
to a halt in honor
of my loss.

squeals puncture the playground air
with a drumroll of sneakers that sound carefree but
for the worry of Tag. nothing matters more to the
flustered It than not being It anymore.
the park, a carol of delight
in the moment

it is a holiday.

a daughter is given away,
the sun breaks on the threshold of her hopes,
her horizon wide outside the windows of the church

i walk into an office, took the long way
through hell. after the unsure “i’m sorry”

the girl behind the counter continues on her business.
epiphany: the sky that had fallen on me
had shielded her head. her day intact, she consults
the clock that agrees she ought to pick up her
son from school. she doesn’t see

her beautiful ordinary.

brazen world.

a baby is born in the moment of my
stunned helplessness. such long arms:
the hour holds my emptiness in one hand

the fullness of a mother in the other.

but i bow my head again
my sorrow, a pain that refracts the sun.
why must anyone orbit my heartache?
i free the world to its joys and
mourn with those who mourn.

to every thing there is a season and
a time to every purpose under heaven
my time to weep, someone’s right to laugh.
i loosen the hold on the rock that is
my gut, slippery with tears. my offering
before the opulence of living.

~ for all who have grieved


158 thoughts on “bereft

  1. What a beautiful poem, a tribute to the experience of loss we all have to deal with at some point in life. Thanks for “liking” my post Morning Reflections, because your “Like” caused me to reread it and realize that I’m basically in the same space that I was 2 years ago. Still trying to recreate my life and treading water a bit. Time for some change.

  2. Thank you for discovering me – for it led to me discovering you and your beautiful, evocative words! They paint a picture, that’s so haunting and real…

  3. Your words reach out to touch the places that bereavement has gripped:

    ‘and lift my head to find the
    world hadn’t ground
    to a halt in honor
    of my loss’

    I remember shopping for a dress my sister could wear to my father’s funeral and being astonished and slightly outraged that the world was still as noisy and colourful and seemingly carefree as it had been before he died. Even though that was many years ago now, it’s a vivid memory still.

    I love the way your reference to Ecclesiastes gives the pain of grief a place in the world.

    I hope you write more poetry and choose to share it.

    Thank you

    • I appreciate your sharing how this resonated with you, Julia, and the lovely meaningful feedback. It is the universal loneliness (irony right there) of grief I was unpacking. As I mentioned, this was my first return to poetry last year. Since, I have written quite a few, all in POETRY under My Topics.

      Big hug,

  4. Melancholy, yet beautiful. I particularly liked and lift my head to find “the
    world hadn’t ground
    to a halt in honor
    of my loss.” Beautiful metaphor, the world still goes on although in your moment of loss it stands still. 🙂

  5. Wow. I felt as though this could have been a poem by one of the greats of American poetry that a professor or high school English teacher assigned to read and write an essay about. Thank you for returning to poetry.

  6. Your words touched and caressed that placed now deeply implanted into my heart where my little boy once was. Such emotion and beauty in your poetry. Thank you for sharing yourself!

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