Visit: a New Basement Page

“To curse me for the life we left behind us
Is to misremember what was cost
For from the vacant cradle
To the empty kitchen table
Show me what was precious that was lost
I’m sorry that I said it, and I know it might be reckless
show me what was precious that was lost”

 –Joe Pug, Hymn #76

is the grief
in this house?

Some mournful dream
Left out in the cold

a child never born
a life always hoped for

but never quite lived?
Rewound and Re-wounded

a glass tossed back and dropped
but never swept up.

is the sadness
in this place–

a gift still warm,
wrapped in tinfoil,

or a memory getting cold
on a table set but abandoned.

and who
are we, ushered in to this place?

briskly, roughly, unsteady–
Unaware. That is who we are.

Off kilter even
once words are spoken

an obscured intention
a rote invitation

a threatening sorrow
or a sorry, sorry threat:

“Take a seat.“

a memory from a long-ago pastoral visit to a house in the midst of grief. reworked a bit.


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