Tag Archives: grief

Wisteria

Originally posted, 2010; revised, 2014; revised again 2019.

i called her wisteria.
wisteria,
in its short bloom.

thought of her as warm days
and cold nights 
in mud season
when grass blades 

start their rise from the soil.

she was remarkable.

she left me, i was lost,
though it was a night

and a day and a night again
before i could cry

for her, a long numb sweep
of hours in succession.

i wept in the privacy of the bedroom
that was newly empty.

i emptied myself.

i cried more as the walls inside me melted
and i sweated them out.
i was paper thin afterward.

light passed through me
and from within i was lit.

this is grief, i said, and it is a cold wind. 
this is unseasonable weather.  
the flowers on the early vines shriveling.  
this is her doing, i told myself.  

i said, i have been illuminated by her.
because of her, i shine.  

she was much more than my purpose.
so much more than i had ever thought to say of her,
sun of a distant unglimpsed sky over a world i hadn’t explored.

not only wisteria, 
but forsythia; violets;
thistles, oaks, redwoods, fig vines.

she was the very bones of spring and beyond.
cut her down with my small interpretation.

she was a sun i will not see again.

here in a twilight of weeping 
i indulge the urge
to endlessly recreate the moment 
when i lost my chance
to stop and listen to her
and let her expand within me 
as i should have. 

what a fool. 

the moment of loss is deep weather, 
a season of interruption
when the simplest answers go unnoticed.  

i should have been motionless
and perhaps
i could have held her here,

or perhaps not. perhaps

it was because i thought of her as
wisteria, delicate and frail,
that when she heard me
she was gone.

i still shine with her still within me
but try as i might
i still light nothing beyond me.


The Accusation That Wakes You Before Dawn

Originally posted 4/18/2010.

Animals struck and killed by cars
can sometimes come back to life.
When it happens,
one in seven million of them

is given the power of speech.

The accusation that wakes you before dawn
comes from one of them. 
It ticks off every time
you heard a thump below your wheels
and drove on with a shrug.

You see you are naked,
fur emerging
from your chest and back.
You find yourself on a familiar road.

Headlights ahead — 
a car that’s rushing toward you
holds your father, your mother,
every easily forgotten lover,
every friend you don’t call anymore,
every colleague you’ve blindsided,
every server you’ve stiffed,
every aimless stab in every back
and every turn of the wheel
that took you over a body in the road.

Then it happens — 
you,
in the blanket of silence;
you,
waiting for
your one in seven million chance
to come back and give back.


Wisteria

Originally posted 4/10/2010.

she was wisteria, wisteria in its short bloom;
she was warm days and cold nights
in mud season when grass blades
begin to rise from the soil
where they’ve been hiding. 

she was remarkable, and i was lost
as soon as she left me, 
though it was a night
and a day
and a night again before i could cry
for her, a long numb sweep
of hours in succession.

i wept in the privacy of the bedroom
that was newly empty. i emptied myself.
i cried more as the walls inside me melted
and i sweated them out.
i was paper thin after.
light passed through me
and from within i was lit.

this is grief, i said, and it is a cold wind.
this is unseasonable weather.  
the flowers on the early vines shriveling.  
this is her doing, i told myself.  i said,

i have been illuminated by her.  i shine. 
she was more than i had thought to say of her,
some sun of a distant unglimpsed sky
over a world i hadn’t explored, and i cried again,
and i still do. 

she was
wisteria,

forsythia;
the very bones
of spring unedited
by interpretation; 
she was a sun i will not see again;

have entered a twilight of weeping
where i indulge the urge
to create and recreate the moment
when i lost my chance
to stop and listen to her
and let her expand within me
as i should have. 

the moment of loss
is deep weather,
a season of interruption
when the simplest answers go unnoticed. 
i should have been motionless
and perhaps i could have held her here,
or perhaps not. 

she was wisteria,
she had her time,
then was gone.
i remain.
i weep,
i shine with her within me,

though i light nothing around me.


The Accusation That Wakes You Before Dawn

Animals
struck by cars
come back to life
once you’ve passed their corpses.
One in seven million of them
is given the power of speech.

The accusation
that wakes you before dawn
comes from one of them. 
In the voice is a paw ticking off every time
you heard a thump below your wheels
and drove on with a shrug.

Under the heavy-armed trees
outside your window
is an army of the flattened,
the torn, the spilled and bloody.
You stand inside, half naked,
reliving moments
of rejection,
ignorance, and neglect
you’ve experienced.

The fur that suddenly emerges
from your chest and back
is sodden with blackened blood
and the tiny cells of brain and lung.

In the car that’s rushing toward you
are your father, your mother,
every easily forgotten lover,
every friend you don’t call anymore,
every colleague you’ve blindsided,
every server you’ve stiffed,
every aimless stab in every back
and every turn of the wheel
that took you over a body in the road.

Headlights ahead,
then it happens.
You in the blanket of silence.
You waiting for
a one in seven million chance
to give back.

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Wisteria

she was wisteria, i think, wisteria
in its short bloom, she was warm days and cold nights
in mud season when blades come out of the soil
where they’ve been hiding like swords,
mute in moonlight. she was remarkable,
and i was lost as soon as she left me.
it was a night and a day and a night before i cried
for her. a long sweep of hours in numb succession.

if this is grief, i said, it is a cold wind. and a cold
night followed.  unseasonable time.  the flowers on the early vines
shriveling.  i wept in the privacy of the bedroom
that was empty. emptied myself i cried more, the walls
inside me melted and i sweated them out.  was paper thin
after.  light passed through me and from within i was lit.

this is her doing, i told myself.  that i have been
illuminated by her.  that i shine.  she was more than i had
thought to say of her, some sun of a distant unglimpsed sky
over a world i hadn’t explored, and i cried again as i would
and still do.  she was wisteria, forsythia, the very bones
of spring unedited by interpretation, a sun i will not see again

and so i fail and enter a twilight of weeping and indulge the urge
to create and recreate the moment when i lost a chance
to stop and listen and let her expand within me as i should.
the moment of loss is deep weather, a season of interruption
when the simplest answers go unnoticed.  i should have been
motionless and perhaps i could have held her here,
or perhaps not.  she was wisteria, she had her time,
was gone. i remain. i weep, i shine with her within me
and light nothing around me.

Blogged with the Flock Browser