Sunday, August 6, 2017

This poem was recently revised, and due to formatting problems has been re-posted out of chronological order.

We Sit
June 9 2008

When there is a death in the family
or death takes its time,
we keep our questions to ourselves
clasp each other’s hands
nod solemnly.

This is what we do
with all the calamities.
We come bearing casseroles
we sit,
knitting needles clicking
the tick
of a mantle clock.
Others may talk
may keen and wail and tear out their hair
and debate the metaphysics of tragedy.
But we are content
with silence,
comforted to know they will come.
And the warmth of familiar bodies
is enough,
holding us up
as we sleep-walk through
our private sorrows.

The colour of mourning is black
and the sound is small-talk
about recipes, and weather.
We are grateful for those who sit,
we welcome this pause
their taciturn presence.
Plenty of time, later
to wrestle with God.

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