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Other people say it better: Part two

June 26, 2013

Heaven

All afternoon the sprinkler ticks and sprays,
ticks and sprays in lazy rounds, trailing
a feather of mist. When I turn it off,
the cicadas keep up their own dry rain,
passing on high from limb to limb.
I don’t know what has shocked me more,
that you are gone, that I am still here,
that there is music after the end.

–David Baker

(I found this poem in the June issue of  The Atlantic, which I was idly skimming at the pool. Yesterday’s poem came from the excellent poetry foundation website: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/, which I highly recommend you visit.)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Was Living Down Under permalink
    June 26, 2013 12:13 pm

    “I don’t know what has shocked me more,
    that you are gone, that I am still here,
    that there is music after the end.”

    Yes, other people do say it better. I was there when my father passed away. I was reading a translation of the Quran. And in my head I was giving him permission to go. The night was so peaceful and so surreal. There he lay. The man who was my dad. And yet, though I watched him go, I cannot believe he is gone. And that we still live on, laughing and loving. How is that possible?

    Grief hits me in the most unexpected places.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • irretrievablybroken permalink*
      June 28, 2013 9:33 am

      The whole thing about grief seems to be that it is supremely illogical. Thank you, too.

  2. Jenny permalink
    June 26, 2013 1:13 pm

    The Thing Is

    to love life, to love it even
    when you have no stomach for it
    and everything you’ve held dear
    crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
    your throat filled with the silt of it.
    When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
    thickening the air, heavy as water
    more fit for gills than lungs;
    when grief weights you like your own flesh
    only more of it, an obesity of grief,
    you think, How can a body withstand this?
    Then you hold life like a face
    between your palms, a plain face,
    no charming smile, no violet eyes,
    and you say, yes, I will take you
    I will love you, again.

    — Ellen Bass

    • irretrievablybroken permalink*
      June 28, 2013 9:32 am

      Oh, lovely. Thank you.

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