“Sometimes I run across a poem that makes me go still inside. This one, by Elise Hempel, posted on the blog Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, did just that.
When does the recent past become
the distant past, when does a loss –
still new, unreal – begin to cross
into memory’s catacombs?
How many months create the door
through which the daze and doubt of grief
pass and slacken to belief,
and then a steady faith? How long before
your silent room – unbroken sun
on an empty sill, the stripped bed –
is just a scene, I glance instead
of stepping in?
by Elise Hempel
Editor’s Note: This poem uses fragments of meter and rhyme to portray the loss of a loved one. The yearning for peace instead of grief can be a frustrating journey.