The Power of Poetry

I brought one book with me this weekend. It is a book of poetry that grabbed my attention: “100 Poems to Break Your Heart” by Edward Hirsch. Maybe an odd choice as I clearly don’t need my heart broken any further, but I am really enjoying it. Hirsch compiled poems from the last two hundred years from all over the world and then does a literary breakdown of them….which would be hell on Earth for some people to read, but my English Lit brain loves it. In his introduction he says “Poetry companions us. Poems are written in solitude, but they reach out to others, which makes poetry a social act”….”We become less isolated in our sorrow, and thus are befriended by the words of another.” LOVE that!

This poem has been writing itself in my head for the past 24 hours…insisting that I spit it out on a page.

The Phoenix

I come to the place of past happiness
Alone
When I arrive the night air is nippy and
Dark
I open the door and am welcomed by sweet
Warmth
I thought this place would bring sadness coming
Alone

Instead I feel like I am able to breathe to
Exhale
I wrestle the cork out of my wine bottle and
Sigh
My physical body is spent my spiritual body
Exhausted
I turn down the duvet on the double bed and
Balk

I pilch the pillows and a blanket and shuffle to the sofa
Solitary Sleep

The sun rises in the morning in breathtaking
Beauty
A solitary green heron watches with me in
Stillness
I wonder if it’s the same one I saw when I was not
Alone
I shift and it startles gives me one last stare and
Soars

The steam from my coffee cup rises in the
Cold
My nose is nippy and I wish for your warm neck to
Nuzzle
I sit and ruminate on the nature of being
Alone
How to find elusive peace and happiness in this unwelcome 
Solitude

My toes and fingers have now joined my nose in the nip I seek warmth
Inside

I take refuge in my makeshift nest of blankets and pillows seeking
Comfort
One thought is blaring above the rest who am I
Now
Before it was easy as a beloved mother and
Wife
Now a new unwelcome me has intruded named
Widow

The counselor says through grief there is a
Transformation
I loved the me I was before when we were
Us
This transformation sounds tenuous and
Painful
I want to retreat back into my cocoon and
Sleep

I feel like fading into forever except I have a crucial role as
Mother

In the evening I build a fire and feel the
Heat
A lone seagull sits and screeches shrilly
Calling
I feel like we are kindred spirits on this earthly
Plane
The lake is calm also holding secrets in its
Depths

The fire burned hot and fast now
Dying
The wood turns first to coal and then to
Ash
My mind imagines another fire a
Pyre
Your body like the wood first coal then
Ash

I struggle to rise anew as a phoenix out of the
Flame

  

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