New Poem for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night: “Condolences”

New Poem for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night: “Condolences”



This morning a friend of mine called me to tell me, through tears and sobs, that her husband of many years died yesterday.  He suffered a heart attack.  Her pain affected me a great deal and provoked poetry.

One of my parents recently suffered a double heart attack and though the outcome was completely different, I felt like she had smacked me with those words.

For some reason, these thoughts and feelings carried me to a very vague early childhood memory. It seems like when we are needed most by friends or family to comfort and bring relief, our words fail us and we become rather befuddled. In the confusion of our own feelings and how they will affect our grieving loved ones, we utter empty phrases. I tried to capture that here.  It doesn’t matter who we are, what our education or status in life happens to be: many of us are too afraid to say what our friends or family really need to hear – the cries of our heart.



White-haired men in navy blue polyester suits –

 Elegant women with perfect perms, one hundred and fifty dollar pants suits from the latest JC Penny catalog and heirloom jewelry hanging pretentiously from their ears and necks –

 Sixty-something men in their best flannel shirts and khaki pants –

They all file by the red-eyed widow, clutching her handkerchief and leaning heavily against her cane and oldest son.

They nod like awkward geese, extending their hands to the weeping woman, and tilt their heads toward the floor, afraid to look into her eyes, into the depths of loss and grief before them.

They all came to show their support and say their goodbyes.

Yet, they are unable to put any meaningful feeling to words, afraid to expose those emotions and allow themselves to join the woman in her humanity.

Instead of embracing her and letting her know how they had to sit down when they heard the news, that an invisible hand gripped their throats and kept them from breathing all day long, how the tears kept flowing at the thought of her loss…

They just keep filing past her like some sort of English ballroom dance with their partial bows, exchange of hands, awkward glances and they repeat that annoyingly empty word:


 ©AKA 2013

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Digital nomad, introvert, author, certified English as a Foreign Language teacher, and lover of languages, plants, books, travel, culture, and most smoked food products...not in any particular order.

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