“How it Will Happen, When” by Dorianne Laux (repost)

There you are, exhausted from a night of crying, curled up on the couch,
the floor, at the foot of the bed, anywhere you fall you fall down crying,
half amazed at what the body is capable of, not believing you can cry
anymore. And there they are, his socks, his shirt, your underwear
and your winter gloves, all in a loose pile next to the bathroom door,
and you fall down again. Someday, years from now, things will be
different, the house clean for once, everything in its place, windows
shining, sun coming in easily now, sliding across the high shine of wax
on the wood floor. You’ll be peeling an orange or watching a bird
spring from the edge of the rooftop next door, noticing how,
for an instant, its body is stopped on the air, only a moment before
gathering the will to fly into the ruff at its wings and then doing it:
flying. You’ll be reading, and for a moment there will be a word
you don’t understand, a simple word like now or what or is
and you’ll ponder over it like a child discovering language.
Is you’ll say over and over until it begins to make sense, and that’s
when you’ll say it, for the first time, out loud: He’s dead. He’s not
coming back. And it will be the first time you believe it.

Dorianne Laux, from Smoke

*originally posted May 22, 2014.

2 thoughts on ““How it Will Happen, When” by Dorianne Laux (repost)

  1. Hannah Richell

    This one has hit me hard, Christy. It’s like someone has written the poem of my exact day today and given it to me at the right moment. Even down to the ‘windows shining, sun coming in easily now’. I’ve spent a large portion of today staring out just-washed windows at the new landscape I find myself inhabiting. And then it hits – again. He’s dead.

    Thank you, as always, for your beautifully selected words. Even though we have never met, through the poetry you choose and post your heart somehow touches my heart. I’m so grateful.

    I shall look for more by Dorianne Laux. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So grateful for you too, Hannah. You’ve helped me so much just from your own stories and shares. It’s funny how I find myself wondering how you are doing in these months and years after Matt’s death and then I’ll see a post from you or a comment on a poem. And I’ll smile at your wise words or small victory (sitting down to write again! Publishing a new book!) and other times I’ll nod in understanding of how grief changes you, transforms you…and sometimes I cry just from the pain of our losses. But we’re both still here. Trudging forward, doing our best.

      I’m so glad you’re in this world, Hannah. And I’m very happy about your new book this July. ❤️

      And yes, Dorianne Laux is phenomenal; she is my favorite poet. Many of her poems are about grief; they’ve helped me so much. x


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