Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ellen Bass: "The Thing Is"

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

"The Thing Is" by Ellen Bass, from Mules of Love. © BOW Editions, Ltd., 2002.

Photograph: Detail from "Elderly Woman Holding Hands to Face," by Image 100 (originally color).

1 comment :

  1. The analogy of grief is in a strange way comforting, and anyone having felt it can relate to this. It would be good to know this in the midst of it.


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