At a time of grief

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Grief

 

During and after my mother’s death

I left plenty of space for grieving

or so I thought.

It seems to need so much

perhaps, after all, I will need a new life.

All this brokenness and sitting still.

 

The cherry has been pink since December.

It blooms from dry branches,

never lets go.

 

 

 

poem and photograph Rose Cook

A friend dies suddenly ~ White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field by Mary Oliver (in memory of William Hubbard)

Coming down out of the freezing sky
with its depths of light,
like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
it was beautiful, and accurate,
striking the snow and whatever was there
with a force that left the imprint
of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —
and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
and the indentation of what had been running
through the white valleys of the snow —
and then it rose, gracefully,
and flew back to the frozen marshes
to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
in the blue shadows —
so I thought:
maybe death isn’t darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us —
as soft as feathers —
that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
and let ourselves be carried,
as through the translucence of mica,
to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones.

 

How To Get To The Other Side

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Go find someone who knows.

A woman, your mother,

your grandmother.

They will show you how to begin.

 

Cast on. This is not easy.

It involves loops. Relax.

Tension flows in, twists and knots.

Breathe.

 

Feel the warmth of the wool.

Allow the click of needles,

the rhythm of the stitches

to knit you calm.

 

It is not grief that shapes our days,

but peace. Console yourself

and as you knit,

death will not come close, but lies,

its belly to the fire to warm its fur.

poem and photograph Rose Cook