This poem was awarded second place in the Poetry section of out 2014 Inaugural Writing Competition.
* * *
Watchers of the mourner,
What do you wish of me?
That in time of loss I cry?
That I let you pat me soft and murmur ‘All that live do die?’
Oh, but what follows? That then should glee
Overwhelm me in gratitude for flying free
Of the burden of love’s exhausting chains?
That I should cease my sighing refrains,
For understanding had murmured that phrase,
And so my vain sorrow should swiftly be erased?
Oh, you do not think me shallow,
But I care not of shadows
And I care not for your thoughts
Of wisdom born out of the mockery gallows.
Think not you know, you unfeeling lot,
The stillness between what is having and lost,
The shame of smiling, of colorful smock,
Of lively ambition, of bantering talk
When she, who I have not six years seen,
Known but in distant suffering’s tale,
She whose face bathed in pork sweat steam,
Monstrously large, yet monstrously frail,
Swollen legs tended to no avail,
But on she ate pork skin, riotous and fat,
Gesturing with her hand like a queen,
Laughing at her mad dog on the balcony,
Jumping, wagging his tail as she sat,
Rambling and smiling, smiling and happy –
When she is dead, leaving but that sketch
Like a Christmas card, showing only the best,
And I to see her in a month,
But she is gone; then, is a weeping enough?
Reason as you will; I scorn at reason.
Let my emotions reign
Sovereign leader until time may ease in
An assurance from the all-hearing God once again.
But oh, to cry in my room unseen.
Leave me not, my friends, but leave me.
I do not know. I do not know.
I’m sorry. I do not know.