Posts Tagged ‘mourning’

and when she was gone
    the house lost its voice

no laughter echoed
    no giggles,
    no braying,
    no full-bellied mirth

banter lost its purpose
    no rejoinders,
    no quips,
    no quotes apropos

sounds of life fell silent
    no snores,
    no clatter of dishes,
    no questions shouted from two rooms away

instead, only
    stockinged feet
        on hardwood floors
    hushed whispers
        with the laconic housecat
    the ticking of clocks
        and soundless steeping tea

for when she was gone
    it felt wrong
        to laugh
        to love
        to live

but spring was coming
    her favorite season
        and her roses still wanted
            to bloom

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in the passenger seat,
on a narrow country road,
my window rolled down,
the scent of warm grass thickens the air

beyond a low fence,
a gathering in black wool,
silent but for ritual words,
meaningless intonations of finality

as we draw near,
time congeals like aspic,
heat rises in dreamlike waves,
flowers wilt in reverent clumps

the surrounding faces
are strangers whom I know,
fugitives on the same path,
dogged by the same relentless pursuers

pain, sharp-edged,
a new reality that dawns
as the loved one stolen
is set into the receiving earth

near the center
one mourner stands,
brow blank, eyes questioning:
Who am I, without you?

as we pass
time releases us,
our hearts resume their muffled beat,
and we yearn for the peace of simple things

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Gossamer WheelPeople used to send flowers.

My mother died when I was five, so my memories of the house at that time are sketchy and incomplete. I remember with clarity that awful day when I learned the news, a congregation of black in our kitchen and living room, and the nightmares that tormented me through the following months. The house was likely filled with flowers, but I do not recall them.

Since that time, the sending of flowers has fallen out of favor. Death announcements now direct us to send contributions “in lieu of flowers.” How ironic that the “Flower Power” generation has turned this expression of sympathy and grief into a faux pas. (more…)

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