And this is the thanks I get for saying goodbye
to so many things: I am calcified, or made of
some type of sinew or jerky. Tougher.
Toughened. I’m not sure which is better:
to always be on the verge of tears, apt to
overshare with anyone who gives even a hint
of asking, or to shut that all away somewhere
in a private heart. I will not say I am wrong.
I will not say that mourning was better,
or that it is worse to live. (And living is
forgetting—you think it won’t be, but
it is. The good thing is that this becomes
less terrifying.) But I do miss some of its
crazy permissions, the feeling that if I was
up and moving, that was enough, more
than enough, and anything else was extra.
Now, there is less margin. Now, I am
expected to do normal things—and I can
do them. And I do them. And I enjoy them.
That’s the most surprising thing.
NaPoWriMo, Day 6 prompt: Write a valediction, which is a poem of farewell.
2 thoughts on “Goodbye to Goodbye (For NaPoWriMo, Day 6)”
This is amazing. Marilyn–a moving elegy to grief itself. I think its sophistication and emotional veracity rival Donne’s own “Valediction.”
I like how in the first half of the poem, “-er” word endings predominate in the ear, but in the second half–at about the turn, where you write “And living is forgetting” (a wise and insightful assertion)–“n” and “-ing” sounds take over. The present progressive of moving on.
Wow! What a compliment, Jennifer. Thank you so much. And once again, you’ve noticed sounds that I didn’t know were there, but now I can hear them and see what you mean. I don’t know exactly when I left the heaviest mourning period for my mother, but in recent months, I’ve noticed that it’s done and that there was a certain relaxing of requirements that I miss a little bit now.