Tastes the same as oatmeal,
a thin ration before internment
or anticipatory grief
resting on a daughter’s tongue.
An oxymoron, a quilt
made of onionskins: What quickens
the pulse, a slow reckoning
or surprise? Out in the waiting room,
a woman hears from the on-call
that her husband went painlessly
in his sleep, heart attack
at forty. His autopsy relays
a tumor, snaking inoperable,
the length of his spine. The body stays
nights for its last cell to cease. Do we
feel the final burn of cremation
or the flowers’ weight upon our backs?
Is the body the soul’s first dream?
Photo by Paul
This is an amazingly heart-piercing and soothing poem. I love Andrea’s attention to detail, to the depth of the sentiments. This poem makes me want to call all my loved ones and send blessings, while there is still ample time to send love, light, peace to all those I cherish! Great poem!
“Anticipatory grief.” Yes, exactly. But also ‘participatory.’ England’s poems often ask of us a level of participation found only in our very best lyric-narratives. A lovely poem here. Honest and piercingly beautiful. Amen.
Fantastic poem, and Mr. Gross is right, the last line is incredible!