The loss of it all

Dear Nora,

Reading your letter tonight made me laugh and cry. Thank you for writing me, your words did my heart good. I will have a proper response for you soon. But in the meantime, I’m sharing a poem with you. I make zero claims of being a poet, but sometimes this is just how words present themselves to me and I like writing them down.


It’s ok to feel
Everything that demands to be felt.
breathe deeply
the loss
the loss of it all

of her.
of them.

My loves.
the arms of someone who loved me
nuzzling into the neck
of a girl who makes me laugh

it’s ok to hurt
this pain is a good,
pure thing.

it pools in the imprint of love.
big, beautiful impressions of love.

my heart still works!
it expands
it contracts,
and squeezes out every last tear

so that it can be filled up again.

But god
how the wringing of it hurts.

It hurts to have an empty hand.
it hurts to have my dear one,
that little loved person,
be here one day, and then gone

and holding someone else’s hand.

there is grieving when I think of what’s been lost
anger at the universe
for the jokes it plays on me,
the tide sweeping my treasures back to the sea

fear.
oh great, huge fear.
still and stoic as the vast night sky,
the deafening silence of the unknown.

and filled with stars of possibility

seemingly wonderful and at the same moment
terrifying in its immeasurability
each pinpoint of light in the dark
both potential joy and disappointment.

If fear and hope are two sides of the same coin
then we can’t spend either without the other.
so I release hope,
and with it, fear.
and hold nothing but the present as my own.

Be still, my soul.
In the pain of it.
In the present of it.

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Love, Ruth

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