She's Gone

She's Gone

A Poem by Write4theSky

She’s Gone.

Two words slip into the air with ease

like seals sliding into hazy water, and it seems

they are small talk. It’s a nice day, school went well, and

 

she’s gone. My grandmother is dead.

Why aren’t tears flowing down my cheeks?    

I stare out the window at a beautiful day, not sure what this

lack of feeling

means.

Seven months passed between the day her illness was labeled and my birth,

satiating the balance of life and loss.

My childhood memories center on the 

invisible fog that dazed her. “Who is this?” she asks. I am introduced, and

we discuss my hobbies and school.

She is cordial and interested, but

Never loving. My breath catches, sure this woman

is not my grandmother. I leave for a minute

to reassemble blank composure, returning to hear

“Who is this?”

 

She’s gone, but she wasn’t here
for me from start.

In the week before her funeral, 

I maintain normal life. When

I remember those two words, laughter doesn’t fade from my voice

as it maybe should.

Every pew of the church is filled with people: many more than

we anticipated. They praise

her kindness and compassion, and mention

her love for gardening. They share

stories of her persistent grammar corrections. They describe

her unfaltering perfectionism. They nearly forget

 

she’s gone. What a woman-

incapable of remembering

how amazing and determined she was for all

but the last ten years of her life.

I can’t blame her, but I do because

 

she’s gone. Listening to the laughs and

sobs in a beautiful church, numbness falls to bitterness.

Why?

Why did these people know and love her, when no memories were reserved

for her granddaughter?

One gray seal leaves an untraceable road of red and shreds of punctured gray hide.

She will not return to the rock. 

But even as her abandoned pups howl, drowning in grief and bile,

the inscrutable water clears. It forgets that a soul was dragged away

until denial is truth.

Most people take for granted the loving guide in their childhood.

I wasn’t sure of what I was missing, and now

 

she’s gone, and all I have

is an infantile fear: did she feel any loss

when she abandoned me to the illness?

When your Grammy passes on, you sob and cry and scream that

It isn’t fair, even as you realize the truth of your words.

Then you don’t think about her every day, and you stop denying that

you’ve lost the exact smell of her perfume. Eventually

You forget her, and you don’t cry when you find a reminder.

Did I skip the grieving process

or was my cycle much longer,

because the nursing home smell always overpowered

her floral scent in the first place?

 

She’s gone; an unfaltering perfectionist who

Lost control of life. How did she feel when she realized

that one day she wouldn't remember

who the child in front of her was, and would never

explain to that girl the difference between who and whom?

I don’t know any answer but this:

it has taken three years after her death

for me to admit

she smelled like lilacs and daffodils.


© 2010 Write4theSky



Author's Note

Write4theSky
about my grandmother. This is the second draft- is the poetic flow any better?

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Featured Review

I love the way I have to catch my breath with you in the line space before each time you say she's gone. This works really well because you establish such a great stream of consciousness flow. The one line that makes me cherish the whole piece the most was, "inscrutable water." It is a striking metaphor for the passage of time. Overall very good and true to many experiences both with death and alzheimer's. Thanks for giving me something to relate to.
I would like to see the seal piece as a haiku as well as in this piece. I don't mean the elementary 5/7/5 haiku, but the insightful moment captured from nature.
Thanks!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I love the way I have to catch my breath with you in the line space before each time you say she's gone. This works really well because you establish such a great stream of consciousness flow. The one line that makes me cherish the whole piece the most was, "inscrutable water." It is a striking metaphor for the passage of time. Overall very good and true to many experiences both with death and alzheimer's. Thanks for giving me something to relate to.
I would like to see the seal piece as a haiku as well as in this piece. I don't mean the elementary 5/7/5 haiku, but the insightful moment captured from nature.
Thanks!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

:) amazing poem i enjoyed this

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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the beginning is good, it's just a bit too different from the rest. the seals seem almost random before the sudden change. that doesn't mean i didn't love the transition between the first and second paragraphs. it's hard to follow up that transition, but you achieved it pretty well. the second paragraph is good, particularly the last lines, but i would make the 7th line a little less technical. the whole piece is a good mix of poetic and technical (it's all poetic, but some parts more literal than others) but it's important to keep a steady flow throughout. even the parts that take the reader by surprise or twist the poem, such as the last line of the third paragraph, flow pretty well.

make the bit on laughter a little more clear. it's totally a good addition, but the language doesn't work. the first half of this paragraph is excellent; no suggestions. the second half is good, but it's a little "glitchy," so to speak; i like the analogy, the questioning, and the spirit, but individually so. and that's an opinion, too: the part fits with the poem, but i would make it a little different. again, the last line totally makes it awesome and ties back well to the "she's gone" and "upset" part.

idea! instead of seals at the beginning, use the stallion (or other way around) and then include it at the end, too. just an idea.

i don't think that "worry" works in the first line of the fourth paragraph, but that's your choice for style. the two lines themselves are good. the part trying to get to what typically is felt is really good, because it's almost like an internal questioning covered up by a half-hearted need to try and feel "normal" and not “skip the grieving process”. i can't ever really know how you feel, but this is what i gather from the writing.

The last paragraph is pretty good, but doesn't quite live up to the rest of the poem. you touch on the ending thoughts, but there's a lot that gets sort of forgotten. there is a lot of questioning, and the few parts that deal with concluding are bland. now, i know this is all a style, but i would have more writing and/or depth. the last line is good, but doesn't live up at all to your amazing last lines. don't include "finally," because that sounds like it's a formulaic essay.

it's good, all-in-all, definitely better as a poem, and there's some amazing language and captivation. you set a high standard in the beginning and in other parts; just remember to keep that throughout.


This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow, I'm so glad I came across this. This is so from the heart, and your emotions are deep in your words.

I can relate to this on some degree. When my grandmother passed, I didn't feel a sense of loss either. It didn't hit me until I was much older. Like you, my younger self was angry with her for abandoning me, even though it was no fault of her own, and something she obviously couldn't control. I often wish I could make up for the lost time, but I take comfort in knowing she's with me. That sense of loss was delayed for a reason; until I was fully able to understand what she meant to me.

I didn't mean to ramble in your review, but your words invoked so much emotion from within me. Your writing voice is so beautiful and honest. I feel like you simply poured your heart out onto the page, not giving word choice a second thought. I love the stream of consciousness feel.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on January 16, 2010
Last Updated on April 30, 2010
Tags: loss
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Write4theSky
Write4theSky

VT



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I appreciate edits. I hope my work can speak for itself. more..

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