One Poem at a Time -29-

With two days left in Poetry Month, no poem is good enough because there are just so many that we love, and to have to choose one of them to be the last one is simply too nerve-wracking. So, with your permission, we’re extending this daily ritual indefinitely. This way, we can keep sharing with you poems we love, untethered by anything. Tomorrow’s poem will be the last for Poetry Month 2010 and the possibilities for after that are, as they should be, endless.


The book which includes this poem was recently featured here.  You can hear the author read it here. I love this poem because it comes very close to desrcibing what it actually feels like to be the one left behind, with all of the senses in tact, the possessor of a mind with the capacity for memory.




Redemption Song
by Kevin Young
from The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing

Finally fall.
At last the mist,
heat’s haze, we woke
these past weeks with

has lifted. We find
ourselves chill, a briskness
we hug ourselves in.
Frost greying the ground.

Grief might be easy
if there wasn’t still
such beauty — would be far
simpler if the silver

maple didn’t thrust
it’s leaves into flame,
trusting that spring
will find it again.

All this might be easier if
there wasn’t a song
still lifting us above it,
if wind didn’t trouble

my mind like water.
I half expect to see you
fill the autumn air
like breath —

At night I sleep
on clenched fists.
Days I’m like the child
who on the playground

falls, crying
not so much from pain
as surprise.
I’m tired of tide

taking you away,
then back again —
what’s worse, the forgetting
or the thing

you can’t forget.
Neither yet —
last summer’s
choir of crickets

grown quiet.


Filed under Poetry Month 2010

2 responses to “One Poem at a Time -29-

  1. Julie von Zerneck


  2. Julie von Zerneck

    I’m like the child
    who on the playground
    falls, crying
    not so much from pain
    as surprise.


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