Coming to Grief, a prose poem by @jackaurquhart

©2015 by Jack A. Urquhart
(for D.T.U.)?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

They say living with grief
is a marathon;
like a non-stop jaunt,
one keeps running,
keeps jogging
milestone to milestone.
But I don’t agree—
not anymore.

That is what I’d tell you,
if you were still here,
still listening to me.
I’d argue a foot race
is too high and dry
for human sorrow,
say that survival swims
in fluid similes.

I’d tell how swimmingly
a steady stroke turns days
into weeks, into months,
into wearying years.
Show how sometimes,
a dog-tired paddle
is all that’s possible.
Say how loss will do that—

Slow a person’s pace,
the aches, the swelling,
settling into the joints
that hold us together.
I’d speak of other risks, too;
of random rogue waves,
of how easily
we are swamped in sadness.

I’d argue that it’s possible
to drown more than once,
show it’s a whitewash,
how they say the swimmer
comes to grief—
how we sink
but three times
before the end.

I’d offer the truth
is more buoyant than that.
Like flotsam and jetsam
on a sea of tears,
we can bob and dip
for quite a spell—
as much as a lifetime—
‘till comes a dry land.

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About jaurquhart

Jack Andrew Urquhart was born in the American South. Following undergraduate work at the University of Florida, Gainesville, he taught in Florida's public schools. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared online at Clapboard House Literary Journal, Crazyhorse Literary Journal, and Standards: The International Journal of Multicultural Studies. He is the author of So They Say, a collection of self-contained, inter-connected stories and the short story, They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing. Formerly a writing instructor at the University of Colorado’s Writing Program, Mr. Urquhart was, until 2010, a senior analyst for the Judicial Branch of California. He resides in southern California.
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2 Responses to Coming to Grief, a prose poem by @jackaurquhart

  1. TermiteWriter says:

    Wonderful, as usual, Jack! You need to publish a collection of your poetry.

  2. karenwojcikberner says:

    Beautiful, Jack. Makes me want to give you a cup of tea and a big hug.

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