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grief and patience {poetry thursday}

liz lamoreux

grief. over the last year and a half, this has become a theme of my life. the deep, wide, gut-wrenching reality that grief invites. and one of the ways i am healing (also known as "holding it all together except when i am not and am instead knocked over only to realize i am not alone on this path") is reading poetry (and writing a little as well).

one of the poets who has spoken to me in the midst of this journey into poetry as i travel through grief is marge piercy. earlier this year, i checked out her book Colors Passing Through Us. in this collection, she has a few poems that whisper about her experience of her mother's death. this line, from "The day my mother died" stopped me right where i was and i recall sucking in my breath as i read it out loud:

That day opened like any
ordinary can of tomatoes.

so much said in these words. with this line, she evokes a kinship with people who have lost someone. yes, an ordinary day. that suddenly becomes something else entirely.

visit this page from The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor to read the all of "The day my mother died." (OH! and please note, this page loads in an odd way. the top of the page is basically gray and blank, but don't dispair, just scroll down to find the poem.) if you click on "Listen" under the date on this page, you can also hear Keillor read this poem (just keep listening, he does read it, but it is toward the end). as jon and i listened to this tonight, i turned to him and said, "i kind of want to curl up inside his voice and take a nap." i love listening to him read. and now that i know you can hear him read all these poems he posts at this site, i am going to try to listen to one a day.

i will visit this week's Poetry Thursday prompt at some point in the future. just not in this post. i am learning the valuable lesson that even though you want to finish a poem, it might want to sit a bit longer and unveil itself to you over time. so the poem i planned to share is doing that right now. we are both learning patience.