The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief, Hilary Stanton Zunin


You think small but inside this house
you’re too much body, all elbows, knees
and hollow heart banging against hard walls
And when the ache in his voice
his words, echo inside your head
like discordant church-chimes in a winter blow
you settle for these:
the looming tall of tree on tree,
blistered bark and a deepening shadow
Such cloistered stillness. You can hear,
distinctly, the soft slip of your footfalls
one following the next in illusion
of meaningful direction. There’s
no defined space where you belong
nobody likely to happen by and smile
as if you matter – only a branching off
toward a thickening indifference
Yet, there’s something comforting
about this darkening canopy
the way oak-woods lean close, sway
a whisper through old leafy boughs
something timeless, primeval and serene
that takes you in and rocks, rocks you tenderly
until you’re lost and more lost to whatever was

© belcanto 2023
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Oh Shelagh, this is amazing. I feel I could read this over and over and still find something new. There’s a desperation in this from the start, this feeling of just being so wrong and displaced, so much that you can sense the pain of it. But then finding a place, a connection, somewhere you belong. I like to walk on the mountains here. It’s a dark place, dangerous in winter, but there’s something there that always calls to me, a history, a belonging. That’s what I got from your final verse.
Just beautiful.

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