word of the day is tethered
tethered to this raucous raging rioting ball of earth
screaming soundlessly through the universe
sound less in the larger sense of the word,
but sound is its own unique energy
even tho it cannot be heard
I read Adrienne Rich’s obit today in the times
she was my hands down favorite poet
who taught me how to love words
who taught me that poems do not have to be sparse and bloodless
ancient and sacred and soundless
my father is dying and I have not written of it
I consider how when one loses a parent
at no other time is one more of a child
except than in childhood
but in childhood we are not self aware
we do not walk around thinking this is how a child feels
this is how a child perceives the world
when a parent dies, one is keenly aware of one’s core
howling in grief.
confused and vulnerable and alone.
for there is no longer that parent with whom to dialog.
I use the correct grammatical structure for
my father, the professor, who would appreciate it.
although he no longer hears me.
how does one reconcile this loss
this new category of loss
is it a new loss
another acceptance, another resignation ( the hebrew meaning of my name is resignation)
is it connected to all of the other less evitable losses.
can it be reconciled with out ever reconciling those earlier
willful or indifferent losses
must they all be categorized and counted and itemized and pondered and spoken and witnessed and forgiven and forgiven and forgiven
or do they simply become part of the fabric that we wrap ourselves in
part smoke and desire, part addiction and more or less the scar tissue of
unspoken woundings, the warp and weft of collusion and collision
and some accidents are beautiful
and some are too painful to navigate alone
or can we build our own new boats and travel across soundless space
to gain a new understanding,
where words are remembered as the rustle of leaves
and prayers are faithful ambassadors pulling on the oars
these things I consider as I pull into traffic to drive my child to school, as I try to remember how to operate the new coffee pot,
as I think about the sequence of events that must occur to get me out of the house and to work, dress, train ticket , wallet, book, phone, sneakers, food, money, time;
all mundane earthly needs, that I add to the equation
as I plot the course of my escape
from this planet of toil and cacophony
to which I am still inexplicably tethered.