18 January 2013

By Her Leaving


She tripped on steep cement stairs,
but her father snatched her
before she hit ground; still
she sobbed with the fright
of it; mother ran, face bears

fear as well, knowing how quickly
death snatches those we love, spills
life like a profligate until bright
dims to dark and we're left there
bereft where love once was, and it thickly

weaves webs to entrap when a moment ago
life danced patterns to fill our nights
with stories, embed memories that dare
to endure, be told as family lore that will
define us, but surely not as having lost this child, though

another babe left long ago, and us marked by her leaving;
she, etched in heart and mind as we transfer
pain to medicine, to somehow move when death stills
that opened place meant for this dear one, slight
light slants through the lattice of loss by her leaving.


This is posted in response by Gay Reiser Cannon over at dVerse Poets Pub who introduced us to David James who has devised Karousels and Weaves to challenge and expand our poetic options. This is a Karousel. Check it out, it's a great article that can take you in new directions. It certainly did me. 

40 comments:

  1. I will admit that what really made me 'sit up' in your poem is the mention of how quickly death snatches people from our lives; and I think to myself (sadly) that sometimes it will be you who is snatched; and sometimes it will be me. It is always sad when children pass though...without having the opportunity to know the richness of life, when parents don't have opportunity to send them off to soar..... A thought-provoking poem here, Mary.

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    1. This incident happened with my granddaughter tonight and spun me in this direction of remembering a previous loss.

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  2. I grieve when a child is quickly snatched from life ~ This line moved me too:

    we transfer
    pain to medicine, to somehow move when death stills

    Good take on the form ~

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    1. We do whatever we can to just get through such a loss. I liked using this form- I'll use it again as it felt natural but helpful.

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  3. gosh...there is little as sad as the death of a child...seeing that little one in a little casket...happened with my cousins 1 month old....ugh....ripped me up...my greatest fear is of something happening to my children....shivers....

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    1. Yes, tonight sent shivers down my spine and made my heart gallop. I never know what will trigger that other loss but it gives me a chance to see it in yet another light. My granddaughter escaped with just a scratch on her foot.

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  4. Oh gosh the terror...I get so afraid of something happening to my children...it's such a sadness the death of a child. So glad your granddaughter was okay...nice write.

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    1. to children or, now, to grandchildren. Stirred up some stuff...

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  5. "another babe has left, and us marked by her leaving;
    she, etched in heart and mind as we transfer
    pain to medicine, to somehow move when death stills"

    this is beautiful, a dark, swaying thought.

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    1. Did you ever get surprised by where your writing takes you? This was my experience tonight.

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  6. Hauntingly beautiful. Thankfully, your granddaughter is ok.

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    1. Only that her Dad was right there.

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  7. I'm glad you wrote this immediately...therapeutic for sure..and lends itself to the form very well;0

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    1. I didn't know where I was heading only that I wanted to write. This is what emerged.

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  8. A terrific terrifying poem. Wonderful. I'm reading the comments now - so so sorry for the sadness behind this. Glad your grandchild okay. k.

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    1. I was helped by this form to go where I needed to go.

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  9. oh my..the terror of losing a child..and having to live on.. a terrible thought..really well put into your verse mary

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    1. Thanks, Claudia. This felt like the poem took its own space.

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  10. These lines are really strong - not that I think the rest are weak :-)

    "death snatches those we love, spills
    life like a profligate"

    I too found the Karousel form opened up new possibilities for me. I am glad your grand-daughter is OK.

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    1. As am I. So fast, so unpredictable. Thank you for your comment.

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  11. Strong poem on a strong subject. You've chosen one that suits the form very well indeed.

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    1. It was more like the form shaped the poem.

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  12. This is a poem of great feeling, but conveyed in a way beyond the personal, well-written. The potential for loss really struck me.

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    1. It's the power of poetry - so specifically personal yet universal. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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    1. I think of you when I write about loss and hold this place of contact with you.

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  14. I haven't had a lot of loss in my life- of people- and it's one of my biggest fears, the children who are... everything, how do you recover?

    There's a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach- I can't even imagine it, there's no words for that feeling.

    I have to say though, I love the way you use words, to paint pictures and feelings onto my mind. What an awesome talent!

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    1. You do what's in front of you to do and get strengthened in the process. None of us really know what we're capable of before hand. But I thank you for your comments and I'm glad you stopped by, A.

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  15. I had a little knot in my stomach after reading and re-reading this. Your piece brings up the fear of loss that I feel whenever there is a close call or when I let my thoughts go in that direction.

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  16. i love this line -> slight
    light slants through the lattice of loss by her leaving.



    quantum kisses

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    1. Thanks, Z. Sometimes words get channelled.

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  17. ...this is heart ripping... if only death is no use these days... no one will grieve...no one will be unhappy... But then on a brighter side, death promised a long-lived a happiness & peace with our Lord... smiles...

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    1. There's nothing abstract that quite makes up for empty arms.

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  18. it can be easy to get caught up in life and love to forget how fragile life can be at any and all ages. a beautiful verse.

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    1. Yes, until an incident happens that brings that fragility to our awareness. Thanks for stopping by.

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  19. I'm really glad Carl was right there with his quick reflexes! Amazing how that scary fall triggered the pain from a previous and unexpected loss.

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  20. Thank you for this touching verse ... having lost many in the past year, I felt it.

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    1. The fellowship of loss. I'm glad you stopped by.

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