May 21, 2021

Grief, COVID-19, compassion.

I grieve alone before dawn, when my valley is still quiet beneath the blanket of darkness. I stare into the last fold of night until the face of my late son becomes clear, and then I listen until I can hear his voice again, And then I allow myself to break down, to fall apart. For a long time I counted the days since his death. Now I count the years.


COVID 19, the voices, it can bring tears to hear them,

Those voices from China, Italy, Spain, and New York.

We can’t breathe, we’re dying…

The struggle, the final gasps. The passion for life.

And the rest of us here, learning to grieve

For thousands of people, just like us.

Those we have never met.


With compassion in one hand and kindness in the other, let me work.



Ren Powell

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VIA NEGATIVA, purveyors of fine poetry since 2003


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