Sunday, May 27, 2018

Poetry Sunday: Losses by Wesley McNair

Losses are a part of life and how we deal with them, one could argue, says just about everything anyone needs to know about the kind of person we are. 

I love the images of Wesley McNair's poem about loss, particularly the part about the widower who "can't stop reaching for the other side of the bed" until finally one odd afternoon...  
"watching something
as common as the way light from the window
lingers over a vase on the table, or how the leaves
on his backyard tree change colors all at once
in a quick wind, he begins to feel a lightness,
as if all his loss has led to finding just this."

Loss can teach us, if only we are open to learning.

Losses

by Wesley McNair

It must be difficult for God, listening
to our voices come up through his floor
of cloud to tell Him what’s been taken away:
Lord, I’ve lost my dog, my period, my hair,
all my money. What can He say, given
we’re so incomplete we can’t stop being
surprised by our condition, while He
is completeness itself? Or is God more
like us, made in His image—shaking His head
because He can’t be expected to keep track
of which voice goes with what name and address,
He being just one God. Either way, we seem
to be left here to discover our losses, everything
from car keys to larger items we can’t search
our pockets for, destined to face them
on our own. Even though the dentist gives us
music to listen to and the assistant looks down
with her lovely smile, it’s still our tooth
he yanks out, leaving a soft spot we ponder
with our tongue for days. Left to ourselves,
we always go over and over what’s missing—
tooth, dog, money, self-control, and even losses
as troubling as the absence the widower can’t stop
reaching for on the other side of his bed a year
later. Then one odd afternoon, watching something
as common as the way light from the window
lingers over a vase on the table, or how the leaves
on his backyard tree change colors all at once
in a quick wind, he begins to feel a lightness,
as if all his loss has led to finding just this.
Only God knows where the feeling came from,
or maybe God’s not some knower off on a cloud,
but there in the eye, which tears up now
at the strangest moments, over the smallest things.

6 comments:

  1. What a lovely poem, so full of truths!

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  2. Yes, so true and beautifully written. As you can see I am still catching up on blog posts since my vacation. I am almost there!

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  3. Another one I commented on the other day. Perhaps you just haven't had time to check. But on my end, Blogger has stopped sending me email notifications for comments to approve. I have had to go to the Blogger site and check the comments tab. So annoying!

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    1. Yes, I'm not getting the notifications either. I have to retrain myself to check comments more often. Thank you for taking the time to repost and I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.

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    2. I am glad to know it is not just me on the notifications. I left a complaint on the Feedback page at Blogger. So good, we are now both retrained! So adaptable we are!

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