in the wake of a life’s end

a kind of gloom sets in the body,
that you can feel lying underneath
your breath,

your words careful, so that they do not
harm the light, your silence loud
enough to make your presence known,

not to counter the void left behind
but to embellish it with your steps
as you move here and there, and
speak solemnly in the shimmer of
another pain that may always stay
within, like a story’s sudden end —

death always leaves one astounded,
even if it is writ in the sky, and on
our fingers, as we touch and hold
each other, we know it is there in
our very blood, and yet it shocks &
deprives us of our effort to under-
stand its proximity when it slithers
inside the room like a voice caught
from miles away to prick our ear,
and say what was not awaited but
known, visible just as the stars are,

until they disappear in a blank fog
and the eyes don’t want to see or
be seen any more.

© Anmol Arora

Something I wrote yesterday after we got to know of my uncle’s passing.

Image source (MOURNING CHANT OF A WHALE, 2014, by Hari Beierl)
Linking it up with the
Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads

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17 thoughts on “in the wake of a life’s end

  1. You’ve encapsulated the devastation of death in this poem, Anmol; I like that you describe grief as ‘a kind of gloom… lying underneath your breath’. I identified with ‘silence loud enough to make your presence known’, although my mother was silent with dementia long before she died.

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  2. “LIke a story’s sudden end”…yes it always feels too soon. This is poignant and lovely HA!!! I know he will be missed by you and all who loved him. My heart goes out to you all.

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  3. lemon skates says:

    Jesus, this is brilliant.

    “your words careful, so that they do not
    harm the light” … so beautiful

    “not to counter the void left behind
    but to embellish it with your steps” … ❤

    This is exactly how I was feeling last week, leading up to my mother’s funeral. I feel like I’m on the other side of this after finding peace there with all her loved ones gathered, though I do know it will creep back up on me at times — that heaviness and darkness.

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  4. mhmp77 says:

    kaykuala

    until they disappear in a blank fog
    and the eyes don’t want to see or
    be seen any more.

    it seems to be a reluctant participant in a hurry! Wonderful take HA!

    Hank

    Like

  5. Like Laura Jane Grace sings: “you’re never really sure that your living until you’re totally sure that you’re dying.”

    The scope of this poem ranges from intimate touch to the cold light of the cosmic stars. Like creation, we know it is all for us, because we are here to know it. The alloyed day is brief, making the touch and the starlight more precious. I read this poem in sorrow and joy.

    Faith calls us to wait
    Breathing out a bluer sky
    Better just love now

    Liked by 1 person

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