Grief is a leaf

On 7.10.18 my husband Martin died suddenly – am re-posting a poem I published almost to the day last year which was in response to the  mass shootings in Vegas – today it is purely personal – but then it always is 

I’m not sure I can howl
though certainly there are dread events
disembowling enough to summon a Munch scream
Lord please spare me that
horror piles up in numbers
dates, head counts, ages
and then little by little the faces appear
life-like captures that froze time into a smile
en famille, festive fun, ignorant of what is to come
what terms then can we come to?
to make peace with the unfathomable?
a pact with the devil?
Lord please spare us that
dare I say grief is akin to an October leaf?
a brisk detachment when the wind lets loose
that sudden and brutal impact with earth
the stalk forever reaching back
now multiply that in knee-deep leaf litter
are we any wiser in comprehension?
are we any closer to each other?

Joining up with others in the Poetry Pantry today as there is comfort in words and something of a panacea in poetry

42 thoughts on “Grief is a leaf

  1. The last stanza says it all and asks it all? Are we any closer to each other? No. I am afraid we are not. A heart wrenching poem.

  2. Laura, I am so terribly sorry for your sudden loss. An even harder one when it is sudden and unexpected, though death is never anything but tragic. We never know when life will change within an instant. I was glad to see your name in the Pantry, and am even more so now, thankful you came to us for some comfort in your time of grief. That October leaf, the stalk forever reaching back, speaks to me. Take care, Laura……….keep writing your way through.

    1. ‘thankful you came to us for some comfort in your time of grief’ – spot on Sherry – goes to show how deep our virtual attachments run – thank you for being there

  3. I truly am sorry about your husband. I think that sudden and unexpected deaths must be the worst. No time to say everything one would want to say. It IS hard to make peace with the unfathomable. If we are fortunate, we find a way. Grief is definitely akin to October’s leaf. October leads to winter. Again, my condolences to you.

  4. Oh, I am so sorry for your loss, Laura.
    Your experience of grief and its rendering is heart-wrenching — the detachment of the leaf is felt, and that stalk forever reaching back makes for a vivid picture of loss. Your words are beautiful as ever.
    I wish you lots of strength and comfort during this time. Thinking of you.
    xoxo Anmol

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. What a terrible shock! The poets will virtually hold your hand through this harrowing time
    ‘ that sudden and brutal impact with earth’
    Take care.

  6. Laura- my heart reaches out to you with kindness and love. There is always a sense of things left unsaid when someone does unexpectedly and a curious shade of blue surrounds each thought. May you find comfort when your words spill onto the page.

      1. Are you familiar with Joan Didion? If not, I recommend The Year of Magical Thinking. An amazing venture into her mind after her husband died. She also lost her daughter.

  7. ‘dare I say grief is akin to an October leaf?
    a brisk detachment when the wind lets loose’

    It is indeed whether we were expecting it or not the death of a loved ones brings us to our knees. I have yet to get off of mine for long….I offer you a hand and a heart and much love to you dear friend.

    1. hard to stand and a need for prayer – our knees were made for such times as these. I know your loss is still felt so strongly so appreciate you words Donna

  8. This is beautiful and heart-wrenching, all the more so knowing it is personal now. My thoughts continue to be with you, Laura.

  9. Unfathomable…your sudden loss and the loss of many and the aftermath(s) The October leaf and the piles of leaves…you link the parallels so well. Take care.

    1. And yet again with the Pittsburgh synagogue murders the poem comes full circle – glad my Jewish husband is not able to know of this – thank you for your appreciation and understanding Janice

  10. The shock of sudden loss can be so very difficult like “a brisk detachment when the wind lets loose.” I am sorry for your loss. I hope that writing will help you through the grieving process. Take care.

    1. I thank you Ali for your kind words and wishes – writing does help with the overflow of it all – leaves something more manageable perhaps though always there are those memories that pop back and take me unawares

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