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Posts Tagged ‘alone’

Remembering




In the moments after
my father died
I slid next to him on the bed,
and though I held
the anchor of his body,
still warm, I felt untethered
from above and below—
felt the loss of my father
and the loss of my son—
and knew myself adrift alone.

For a long time, I lie there,
too loose, too free,
alone, alone, alone,
and a tender voice
I have heard before
said, Oh sweetheart,
did you forget?

I knew what it meant—
did I forget love would meet me
anywhere I am? And love
showed me in that moment
an infinite sea and said,
Sweetheart, it’s true,
you’re alone. It’s always been true.
And the only thing
that will ever ground you
is not the object of love,
but love itself.

And there in those infinite waters
love baptized me as its own.
No horizon in sight.
And I am not alone.

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The moon was hidden and the scent

of rabbit brush was thick, so thick

a woman could be hypnotized by it—

 

it seemed to come from everywhere,

the garbled light, the sage-sharp scent,

the sound of every step she took, and

 

every step she took felt like

a baptism, though into what, she could

not say—herself, perhaps, but more

 

the world, and yes, it was

the kind of tenderness

one only meets when we’re

 

alone and somehow lost

inside the night, amazed that it

can be so warm, so gentle,

 

shocked that we can be so slight

we almost, almost disappear—

but ah, the sound of every step she took

 

reminded her that she was here—

and sage-sharp scent of rabbit brush

caressed her every everywhere,

 

and led her deeper into night,

soft sound of footsteps, garbled light,

the snarl of squirrel nests in the trees

 

made visible through silhouette,

and every every step she took felt

like a baptism, like a rite

 

though rite of what, she could not say,

the moonlight gave itself away

the rabbit brush said here, here, here.

 

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only one other
set of footprints in the snow
beside mine—
I try not to hold it against them
for not being yours

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—poem on a line from e.e. cummings

Rubble, smoke, sparrow, stone,
she wakes in darkness all alone.

Angel, master, docent, thief,
she wears the scars of love and grief.

Furrow, honey, Chopin, moss,
those are veils that are her loss.

There’s more, there’s more to be undone—
milk, lattice, lily, plum.

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