Joseph Lisowski The 2River View, 4.4 (Summer 2000)

Empty Vessels

Words are such empty vessels,
brittle, chipped, cracked,
unable to bear the weight
of loss, agony, regret.
When death strikes, they dissipate
like dust in a sudden gust.

My daughter is dead, I repeat.
(I held her broken body.
A fingertip touch told me
it was not she—my eyes
blanched by her lifeless form.)

I feel her presence unexpectedly
in familiar places—a walk along the beach,
a glimpse in my rear view mirror,
in the croaking voice of her brother's grief.

Her mother keens again, rocking in failed light.
I sit near her darkness and sway.
What we had is gone. What we have is ...

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