NaPoWriMo, Day 26: An Elegy

An Old Grief


I dance around the shape of loss,
these empty cups, these brittle bones;
sadness seeps into places I can’t name.

What is it when grief becomes
a slide across the sun, a scrim
so thick, the light diffuses,

footsteps down some other
hallway? What is the sound
when it’s all been said, when

there’s no more time for saying,
and life carries you like a little boat,
purposeful and aimless as a leaf? 


8 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo, Day 26: An Elegy

  1. Gosh, this is wonderful–one of the best descriptions I’ve seen of how it’s like to live after such a loss.

    As usual, I’m digging the sounds in your poem. This time, it’s the distant rhyme of “leaf” with “grief” that chimes like a forgotten bell. So lovely and heartbreaking and true.

    • Thank you! I lost my mom to a somewhat rare and aggressive cancer going on three years ago. Especially with young children, it’s amazing how we all keep moving forward. In this poem, I resisted the urge to make her present at all … because I wanted the absence to be the point, more than the loved one — the absence, and the cruel/kind way time deals with such things.

      And I thought of you when I noticed that rhyme. 🙂

      • Ah, your mother. So sorry to hear about that loss. For the poem’s sake, the choice to leave her absent is superbly effective. For your sake, I imagine, not so much…

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