The Keening

Written by Susan Noyes Anderson on . Posted in Poems about Death

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©2020 Susan Noyes Anderson

You died a man, yet in my heart,
you were my baby from the start…
my little blond-haired, blue-eyed boy…
solemn of thought, alive with joy.

Alive and mine, God’s gift to me,
assigned by love and destiny.
You were supposed to live, my son,
until my days on earth were done.

You were supposed to chase your dreams
and make them yours, to hatch your schemes
and set your sights on every crest,
for you deserved the very best.

So many gifts were yours to share,
so many sorrows yours to bear,
so many good times washed in pain,
as sunny days gave way to rain.

You did not give up easily
but ran as far as you could see
until the fog eclipsed your view,
and you could find no clear way through.

Determined, proud, you held out strong
against all odds; you soldiered on
far past the point where hope seemed real
into the realm of bleak ordeal.

It seemed unjust. When you sought light
unbidden clouds would block your sight,
so you walked blind around the bend.
You lost your footing, in the end.

Now you are free from worldly woe,
beyond all struggles here below.
I should be happy for you, son.
I ought not wish your rest undone.

And yet, until I see your face,
until we meet in warm embrace,
my heart will never be quite whole,
for I am keening in my soul.

If this poem resonates with you, you might relate to Notes on Grief: The Second Year.

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