Thursday, January 8, 2015

Belated, but still important.

I wrote this poem for the 20th anniversary of my father's death. It was a painful day, but I have gained some perspective on it over the past few decades. In some ways it seems like he'll be right back, and in others I realize how much he's missed (and I've missed him). He never met my husband or my sons, although I know he would love them. Anyway, I was inspired by Penderecki's "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima." It is a powerful piece which, given the subject matter, I can't manage to finish listening to. I understand his purpose in making such a piece, however, and its visceral feeling reminded me of my own loss, however small it is in comparison to the magnitude of tragedy in Hiroshima.


For K.B.E. 5/9/42-12/28/94

My heart screams like the strings
written by Penderecki for Hiroshima.
Loss rips through my soul
with the force of atomic bombs.
This is a chasm that can never be filled,
a crack beyond repair.

Even now, memories blurry with distance,
emptiness threatens to consume my consciousness.
But then, a tiny hand reaches for mine,
a small voice raises in questioning.
Little arms encircle me with quiet unknowing,
calming my furious thoughts
and deepening my shallow breaths.
They need me, and for them I can move mountains.

While physically the vacant space remains,
I feel you here in small moments
all the time. Hearing virtuoso piano concerti,
in a gesture or expression on a small boy’s face,
in my uncontrollable urge to sway in an embrace.
Yes, you are not gone, only gone subtle.
With an alert eye, there is no need for loneliness.
Until we meet again.


Isis the Scientist said...

I miss him too.

Butch Henderson said...

I can find only one word to capture my immediate response to your poem: Poignant.

Minerva said...

Isis, thanks!

Butch, that's pretty much exactly what I was going for. Thank you for commenting!

Anonymous said...