Upon the Death of a Friend

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For Ansel

 

There is a certain lilt

in the whole of things,

so demure

yet so threatening to

the letter and the law

it must subtle itself in life forms

and experiences

that take hold in the

unguarded spaces of the heart.

The lesson is to learn to see

what one did not see coming.

It is in the sway of the pine bough,

in the breath of the crow’s wings.

It is in the marimba tone of the cowbird’s throat

and the jasmine’s essence.

It is in the curtain of virga

and in the nuzzle of a cool nose.

It is in the bitter swell

of the chest when walking

without the dog one loved.

It is in the teardrop.

It is in what was meant to be and then not.

It is in the chance

that our existence is small,

while nothing and everything

teeters on it

after all.

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5 thoughts on “Upon the Death of a Friend

  1. ‘The unguarded spaces of the heart’ … that is where it all starts and stops. That is where love and Ansel live on.

  2. Very moving piece. I did not comment on your original post about Ansel’s death as I didn’t want to mouth platitudes about unspeakable grief. I have lost several beloved dogs and know that pain well. Thanks.

    Tom

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