Poem Therapy 10:58 P.M. 20 August: Day of Grief - Gerald Stern

Day of Grief
Gerald Stern

I was forcing a wasp to the top of a window
where there was some sky and there were tiger lilies
outside just to love him or maybe only
simply a kiss for he was hurrying home
to fight a broom and I was trying to open
a door with one hand while the other was swinging
tomatoes, and you could even smell the corn
for corn travels by wind and there was the first
hint of cold and dark though it was nothing
compared to what would come, and someone should mark
the day, I think it was August 20th, and
that should be the day of grief for grief
begins then and the corn man starts to shiver
and crows too and dogs who hate the wind
though grief would come later and it was a relief
to know I wasn't alone, but be as it may,
since it was cold and dark I found myself singing
the brilliant love songs of my other religion.

The first hint of winter is in the morning air these last few days. The bitter dark days are coming. Outside my back door wasps and bees scurry, dragonflies dart and the occasional butterfly floats around the cucumber and squash blooms. The fields are blanketed with geese gleaning the leavings of harvest.

Early this morning, I leaned into the circle whirlpool's current after laps. A woman walking with the current told me she used to make forty laps against the current every morning, but now she has cancer. I asked her what kind on the next round, and then she stopped and told her story, water breaking around us.

I recognized the story and the pain she described. It is the same pain that my husband began describing these shortening days of summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment