My heart is hushed by thoughts of death
and strangely kept entranced;
Wallflower at the danse macabre
feet still where others danced.
I feel the rhythm of death’s beat…
it echoes in my heart,
a soft and wistful melody
without an end or start.
Do you not feel the tapping spell?
The meter knows our names.
I feel the urge to rise and dance,
to join in morbid games.
My waist encircled by the arms
that never will release,
my burdens left beside my chair,
no pain, no pain, surcease.
If dark hands beckon and they reach,
will I have strength to sit
when I already know the song
And how we’ll dance to it?
(c) RCGA 1/17/09
An old sonnet, written about a half-year after my husband died. I had nearly forgotten about it until I was going through some files on my old computer. How different each experience of grief is. I have had dark thoughts, and I am not inured to loss by any means, but nearly five years later, I feel my despair differently. Losing my beloved this time, though harder in some ways because it was sudden rather than a creeping passage, reminds me that what I felt back then was not just my grief for Mani, but that I thought I’d never know what it was like to be loved completely again. Adam proved that wrong. What lingers is a sense that I am worthy of being loved, and that whatever my purpose for being here is, I have one, so I won’t be actively seeking to join the dance, even if I know all the steps in my mind.