Parting Wounds by Helen Losse

–for Valerie

Sometimes looking back,
we see details we missed:

monsters swim in a glass of water
that sits on the table between us. Yes,

several jealous demons we should have
beaten until dead appear in sweet tea.

Our parting—an incident both tragic
and inevitable—is due only in part

to cruel and tragic words I can never
un-speak. There were hints I should have

heeded, sheets we should have stripped
from the bed, laundered and aired

in the sweet southern breeze
months ago.  Through life’s changes—

health, power, and inevitable loss
of our mothers’ unique wisdoms—

two southern women have become,
perhaps, too tired to overcome pain

that stands where they once danced
in sisterhood, sweater-clad.

Some days turn out better than others.
Some days I utter words I should never

have spoken. Some days a hurricane
smashes the land.

My mother died in March, you know,
but I  learned from FaceBook

we were undone. Our parting wounds
became a second death, a second need

for freedom to grieve. Yes, time provides
space between events;  it guarantees us

nothing more. But looking forward
instead of back, I still choose to love you.

2 Responses to “Parting Wounds by Helen Losse”

  1. Helen – This is a powerful poem with deep meaning for me. I appreciate having read it today. Thanks for the poignant messages and beautiful writing, Winnie

  2. Thanks, Winnie.

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