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Poem for a Neighbor

Adam Bernstein

An e-mail came to me the other day from Angela Scarlis, a poet who wanted to celebrate the life of her neighbor in Alexandria. Her friend was Louise Hurt, and she died May 19. Her death notice is here.

"For me it is important that people can feel the pain of loss," wrote Scarlis, who publishes under the name Angela Goldemund. "Thus, I have not praised Louise or written about her life stories but rather given insight into the dealings with pain, the loss, death."

A Lonely Road In Memory of Louise Hurt
As I walk along a lonely road where peonies bow their heads in grace where irises rained down keep their bloom as my feet of lead sink deep into the mud along this road of past time long gone I feel the beating of a gasping wound a time-wound opened lost in space not here not there - whence? Everywhere.

Walking along this lonely road of pain
drenched and drunken blind by springlike rain
I see this woman smile at me behind the fence
her scraggy shoulders burdened and dragged down
by wondrous bundles wrapped around her waist.
She bends, kneels down and sows her blood
drops of life to feed the offspring of her trees.
And as I wait and stare and hope to see
along my way of wetted flagstoned gray
I hear these eerie sounds from there and near
a wind-swept trail of sing-song notes
a breath of whispering words afar
above, from anywhere.

Bonjour ... is ... 703-683-3714 ... no one ... please leave ... au revoir ...
Is it you? Cries out my trembling self. Is it you, Louise, your old self gone? Should I not welcome you back home? Should I not wish to write a song? A gentle breeze closes my lips. My soul weeps into the clouds. The I and Thou.
May 2009 © Angela Goldemund

By Adam Bernstein |  June 3, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  | Category:  Adam Bernstein
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This is a wonderful poem and I agree so much with the premise. We do not spend enough time standing still and letting grief run through us. We bury grief, sublimate our feelings...when grief escapes it resembles something else. Anger sometimes, self-pity. Bearing grief lets us know the full weight of loss. And loss helps us understand what we really prize in this world

Posted by: staceywittek | June 6, 2009 11:09 AM

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