Angst

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A poem inspired by the untimely death of my mother, just a few weeks after having turned 52. She was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer just over a year earlier. It perfectly captures, I believe, the way the body and the mind experience the process of grief. ElizaBlazeBooks.com

ANGST 


Is there ever any way

To express the depth of pain,

The ache of loss,

The leaping hurt

That fills your deepest places?

 


It’s a raging void,

A needful thing,

With one desire….

To be filled

With so many moments,

The sight of your face,

The touch of your hands,

A smile….

And the happy glint of laughing eyes.

 


It’s an afternoon of conversation,

Hours upon hours of speaking on things,

Though nothing of importance.

A closeness, just the presence

Of you, cherished,

Sitting near, companionable,

Or sometimes silent.

 


But, there…as the morning sun,

As the broad blue skies,

The earth, the very soil,

There as vibrant as the Spring,

Bursting with the green tenderness

Of joyful life.

 


And, then…

There,

As reliable as a heartbeat,

The catch of breath in expectant throat,

There, but fragile.

There, then,

Gone.

 


We speak of these things,

So banal,

A passing on,

The appropriated time,

The spectral promise made for our earthly ends.

 


We speak on these thing with no Knowledge,

No suffering,

No insight,

Into the deep and heavy

Heap

Of its cruel Angst.

 


The creeping hour of death,

The thief who robs us all

Of earthly love.

So powerless and helpless

Beneath its heavy weight….

A crushing blow it deals.

 


Seeking comfort, we press on.

Hurry to quiet the heart’s vain rages,

To push away the hard and hurtful things,

To seek recompense, for these,

Our sorrows.

 


This pain, I reason,

Is a selfish thing.

Selfish for the need of things,

The wishes and desire for things

So often unspoken, and

Unthought.

 


That time could have ceased….

The long seconds teeming into minutes,

Minutes to hours, and days to years…

Years here, together,

Filled with joyful celebration

And the knowledge that comes with a passing:

 


The knowledge that the things we miss are these…

The simple things,

The Moments,

The smiles and the laughter.

A presence,

Nothing more and nothing less.

What more is there for recompense?

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