Touch: The Journal of Healing



The Body of Grief

    All goes onward and outward and nothing collapses

                                                                                        Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

    by Deborah Polikoff

Who can touch the body of grief?

We long to see

the familiar silhouette standing

in the doorway, to hear

the overtones of a particular voice

disturbing the actual air.

The mind can do much,

but the suddenly

larger house seems drained

by the absent hand

not pouring chrysanthemum tea

into a chipped mug.  We are silenced

by a welter of dangling

wires.  Memory,

music, dreams may wrap us

in their beautiful blankets, scents

may infuse our senses, even a presence

may be felt nearby,

but when we reach out to touch -

the body of grief

is ours alone.

© 2014  Deborah Polikoff

Deborah Polikoff was awarded the 1977 Radcliffe Poetry Prize, and she has published in The Madison Review and The Radcliffe Quarterly. She lives and writes in New England.

Copyright © 2014

Touch: The Journal of Healing

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