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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Aubade


I swore you'd never see such pretension
from me. I must be getting desperate.
In any case, you will recall that an 'aubade'
is a poem written in the morning, or possibly
written 'about morning,' we'd got that far......

but then, maybe, it was 'mourning,' actually,
like written while grieving, or possibly
written about the experience of grieving,
about which I can tell you next to nothing.

When my mom died, I got a good poem,
but that's pretty much it. I didn't get
any feeling that seemed in any other way
right. I found myself seeking something
that would inform me what was gone, or

at least tell me what loss really is. And
even then, and by 'then' I mean: with only
the poem's alleged quality to console me,
even in that, I was completely alone.

I'd written it for my dad, but he didn't 'get it,' not
until he'd read it a couple hundred times, and
by then it was a year or two later. Now, though,
nearly every time we talk, he tells me what
a stunning poem it was, that one I wrote the day

of Mom's memorial service to read there, and did
(it isn't quite that good, perhaps, but he's biased,
and doubly, although on the other hand, he was
an English major.). I do appreciate a lot what

he's getting from it--that's what I'd wanted, too,
part of it, anyway--it's just that, retrospectively,
it's not working for me for what I was hoping for
most, which is in no way abstract, as if it could
apply to any other moment or circumstance. I mean,

it can't do for me now what it was supposed to
do then; which was, tell me something about
the pang of grief, that most solitary endeavor;
of all experience, surely, the most personal and

closest to home; neither to be shared nor
turned away, but to bring me surcease of it,
this pain, the very one I couldn't muster,
I'd been hoping to somehow reverse engineer it,
to tell me I was alive.
 

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