There are some griefs so loud
They could bring down the sky,
And there are griefs so still
None knows how deep they lie,
Endured, never expended.
~May Sarton, "Of Grief," A Durable Fire, 1972
When my father was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer, my stepmom could not bear for him to be told. I am not entirely sure how he was in the dark of it all, but we continued with the façade that there was hope, and hence words that needed to be spoken that would have been obvious of what was happening were never said.
One day on morphine and nearer to passing, my dad was hallucinating as only a very logical engineer could have done. He would very matter of factly ask me, “do you hear that music?” or “Do you see that car moving in the painting?” When I answered with a bewildered no, he remained silent and unfazed. I cannot help but think that music is something that crosses the border of here and heaven. He was hearing the echoes of where he was headed. Some sounds preach truth no matter what secrets may be kept. That is my thoughts on it and like the hope for miracles, that is what I choose to hold on to.
I kept words folded and starched in an innermost closet like formal attire for a place I would never be able to go.
You see, one cannot dance at the reception hall if the building has been burned to the ground.
Yet, still I dance alone with a grace that loneliness carries.
Swaying with words that know how to move in my company but never step out of that room.
It sounds absurd to someone else, but I know where they stand and why.
And I listen because I need to.
For I must remember, and I shall!
I smoke them like a joint.
Holding my breath hard as I wait for something more.
But there was a time that I was the voice that carried high, like a song reaching for broader skies.
Now my heart is a nightbird; still and quiet in the daylight.
You say I look brave and sure like a train to the city, but don’t be fooled my dear!
I am thoughts unspoken and dubious.
The regret of a thousand backward falls.
I am an old frayed ribbon from the gift of memory of long long ago.
Just one hard pull and I could break.
Linking with Shay's Word Garden (Janis Ian is the featured poet and singer/songwriter)
& the Sunday Muse for Muse #244
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