There used to be a wish for your return
here in my heart, a craving for your smile
so I could bask in it again, a little while
and know the worthiness for which I yearn—

the love you brought, that taught me to unlearn
all anger, sadness, sense of alien exile
and know a place where we together could beguile
from seeming ashes, embers, constancy of burn.

But so much grief has been, and change,
a certain strangeness I believed could never be
has crept into my unbelief and now seems true:

you would not want this world, so rearranged
by time, which once so cruelly stole you from me,
and now, incredibly, is stealing me from you.



51 responses »

  1. Cynthia, the strings you pluck make those which tie our own hearts shiver, knowing words have now been put to what has till now sat mute within, past comfort, beyond words. But now tears join your song, finding here solace, and something truly (y)ours.

    • No greater gift, Lance, than to be told that the solace of which you so eloquently speak is present somehow in one’s words, and that they speak of something truly “ours.” Thank you.

  2. I am always reduced to mute, inward tears; melted inside when I read your poems directed to your lost love. Your pain is not just yours, your loss is shared [by lord knows how many] and you have a way of cutting to the heart of the matter. You are a treasure!

    • I am honored, Pauline, that you read my poems. Your artistically gifted and generous soul is a blessing to blogs you follow—and we two do follow several in common, don’t we! I very much value your kind , careful appreciation and insight. Thank you very much.

    • It’s all about the change in time, Frank….how it gives us a solace from grief, though the grief never totally goes away. The sadness is always there, but the memory grows ever more dim as time gives us distance….and we realize for sure that what once was, can never return. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  3. Such reflective insight, Cynthia. You have arrived at a place we can understand, but would never have imagined for ourselves – a place I will now look for – not because it makes anything better, but because it allows another the mind another direction. Sorry, I’m becoming obscure.

    • It’s not you who are obscure, Hilary, this very phenomenon of the remembering mind is shadowy, I think. To imagine that someone has “left” you and then come to realize that, with time, you are in some way “leaving” them, too, in the past is, as you say, not to make anything better, but an entry to another direction or place. Strange, but strangely true.

  4. This is indeed a beautiful and sad poem, but also one that seems healing and hopeful. I have read it and reread it and see myself in it, too, letting go of something I thought I’d never be able to let go of, and how hard it is to admit this to oneself, through tears. xo

  5. I am nervous to comment, Cynthia, yet cannot merely click ‘like’. I’ll try to say this: it’s beautiful, brave and wise and a wonderful example to me of what the sonnet can be and do.

    • I’m told by others (including Shakespeare, in our imaginary conversations) that the sonnet can get under one’s skin, and I believe it is so. You are a veteran reader of my poems so I treasure what you say—especially as it involves venturing out of a reticence I think I understand and I know I admire. Thank you, John.

  6. Cynthia you allow us to see the cycle of a “softening” of grief, as it changes its cloth, the grief still lingers as an old worn garment (flannel shirt in the closet). Your writing brings out levels of deep and pure emotion – I’m thinking about you during this time.

  7. Well I truly love this poem Cynthia. I’ve listened to you reading it over and over and it leaves me quite lost for words, but Iwill try and muster a few. I understand every syllable so well and feel, too. how very personal it is and yet can be so meaningful to anyone who has suffered the loss of someone very close.

    Your poetry is beyond beautiful, whatever you write about. 😊 xx

    • That is a really fine and moving thing to say, Chris….that the personal can move into a place of significance for others in their own experience. We always hope our poems can go there, don’t we? Just as you often joke about running out of things to say about the poems, I feel I am sometimes running out of ways to say how very much I appreciate your reading, commenting, liking, friendship, commiseration, humor, love….etc. You know what I mean…. :-)xx

  8. Absolutely spot on Cynthia. Everything a sonnet in disbelief should be.

    Our guilt obsessed world has taught us that any change in the degree of our grief is proof of it’s inauthenticity.

    But you pen the unpolished truth that lives in the hearts of many. Thanks for sharing your vulnerability.

    I think I’m gonna have to have you as a guest reader on my blog.

  9. This sonnet has sent me on a thought journey into the grief and melancholy it evokes and beyond. The beyond is how much things have changed in the world (and also stayed the same) since loved ones have passed on. They are frozen in time on our memories and we experience everything thereafter without them. What would they say if they came back now?

    • That last question of yours is exactly what I was getting at, in this poem, Karen. In a very low moment of remembering, I think I decided it might not be good if they came back. In a perverse way, that helped against grief. How long must one grieve? Maybe forever, but the coloring and quality change with time. Thank you very much for your comment.

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