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Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Widow’s Lament in Springtime

(Springtime by John Henry Twachtman, 1853-1902,
American Impressionist painter)

Even as life begins anew in spring, grief still makes its way through the heart.

“For in grief nothing ‘stays put.’ One keeps emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. And I am going round in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?” ~ C. S. Lewis, from his book A Grief Observed


Sorrow is my own yard
where the new grass
flames as it has flamed
often before but not
with the cold fire
that closes round me this year.
Thirty five years
I lived with my husband.
The plum tree is white today
with masses of flowers.
Masses of flowers
load the cherry branches
and color some bushes
yellow and some red
but the grief in my heart
is stronger than they
for though they were my joy
formerly, today I notice them
and turned away forgetting.
Today my son told me
that in the meadows,
at the edge of the heavy woods
in the distance, he saw
trees of white flowers.
I feel that I would like
to go there
and fall into those flowers
and sink into the marsh near them.

~ William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), American poet and practicing physician

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