Monday, December 17, 2012

Finding Solace in Words

In times of grief and loss, I find comfort in poetry. I find empathy and understanding in the following poem. Thank you, Ellen Bass, for this comfort today.

The Thing Is

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

From Mules of Love by Ellen Bass, via The Writer’s Almanac

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