Donnerstag, 4. September 2014

in the end - rewritten, september 2014

A poem is maybe never finished. For me, it is a constant process and if I'd wait for one to be finished, I'd never give one to the public. I love the idea of rewriting, and sharing different stages, with others and myself. So this is, what I've done with "in the end", after digesting everything, my writing group in Lisbon told me. It is still so far from finished. I can see that. But I like it much better. 

in the end - rewritten, september 2014

“In the end only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” Buddha

it comes down
to a box of photos,
your favourite rings,
(i remember you wearing them
when I was little)
our old kitchen table,
where you and dad,
i imagine, had coffee,
now and then, before we were born.
                                                                                  (what i remember are the endless fights)

it comes down
to going through all
your drawers, cabinets,
wardrobes, closets, your
garage, your basement,
the second basement,
your cupboards – i never realized,
how much we collect –
(is this supposed to be my lesson in impermanence?)
what to keep
what to throw away.
(every piece we threw away hurt)
to give things away
to people who knew you
and were happy with your stuff
felt really good!
to hear my brother destroy
your cups and plates
with a hammer
                                                                                                                                                         ( what does gracefully mean anyway?)
so we could discard them
easier, felt really bad

it also comes down to this:
how much time, how much
strength do we have,
do we need
to deal with this?
(i think i would have needed
a full year, a complete cycle of mourning,
with your belongings still in place,
to sit with them,  which were you,
 find out, slowly, in my time, yes, gracefully,
what to do with every single cup,
yes, gently, but of course,
we did not have a year of strength.)

i found an old box with photos and papers
which dad had brought with him
sixty years ago. i had never seen them before.
he died twenty-seven
years ago, you kept it the way he had left it,
let it sit there with us,
without anybody knowing,
which made me understand,
what he had meant to you,
and that in the end,
we all become stories,
people tell each other,
while going through our boxes -
the ones we are packing now –
this made me smile.
(i am wearing your rings all the time, yes, love.)

© Susanne Becker

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