Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

When They Leave Us Behind

May 13, 2010 - 1:03 pm No Comments

My poem bone is decidedly rusty, but at a funeral recently I had an image – that of trying to describe the arc of someone’s life being similar to trying to describe how tremendous a shooting star was to someone who didn’t see it – and I thought I could expand it into a poem about grief. Let me know what you think:

When They Leave Us Behind

We quietly live out our everyday lives,
Assuming the world in its entirety thrives,
And it’s as if we are suddenly one day struck blind
When they leave us behind.

When they leave us behind, we freeze
In a bolt of dismay; feel the breeze
As a foul wind that sets our once-warm cheeks to stone.
We want neither company nor to be alone,
When they leave us behind.

When they leave us behind, we marvel
At the astonishing pattern their lives made in travel,
And we vainly explain – “‘Twas so bright and so far!”
But we’re describing the movement of a shooting star,
When they leave us behind.

When they leave us behind, we end
And reflect on those gone as our lives we suspend,
Then crawl into the light where the world still performs;
But that’s wrong, and will never again be our norm,
When they leave us behind.

When they leave us behind, we ache
In the missing pieces of us that they take.
Our phantom pain tingles and itches and races
Until we’re finally able to fill in the spaces,
When they leave us behind.

—-Dee Cook, 2010