Empty Cup

Empty Cup

I set down my cup, pour
tea and think this day, too,
may never end.

With what do we quantify love? How does grief measure us? Nine days ago I wrote “My father is dying and I’m sipping a beer.” More words followed, but I did not write them, choosing instead to let them gather where they would – among the darkening fringe at light’s edge, in that space between the shakuhachi’s notes, in the fragrance of spices toasting in the skillet. In unwept tears. Everywhere. Nowhere.

Seven days ago I wrote “My father is dead.” Again, I chose to let the unwritten words gather and linger, allowing them to spread in their own time, attaching themselves to one another, long chains of emptiness dragging through the days.

If experience reflects truth, sorrow’s scroll will unravel slowly for me, and will never stop. I feel it beginning to quiver, but only the tiniest edge emerges. I am nothing, I say. I am voice, I am loss, I am name. I am memory. I am son.

I have fifty-nine years
and no wisdom to show for it.
Never enough. Too much.

71 thoughts on “Empty Cup

  1. Your sorrow in these lines is so very personal … yet stirs my own sorrows … gratitude for that, as a good stir shakes my words loose.

    I like the form you chose for this.

    Such wisdom in your lines “let the unwritten words gather and linger, allowing them to spread in their own time, attaching themselves to one another” … words and emotions make for odd coupling, time brings resonance.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry, Bob. Even when everyone involved is “ready,” the felt experience cannot be anticipated. Be gentle to yourself, friend, allowing those words to remain unwritten until they bid you otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry about your loss.
    Such a profoundly wise and beautiful poem. You really are “O at the Edges” here – at the edges of sorrow, and life, and loss – giving expression to all those deepest parts of human experience that are, essentially, inexpressible. It helped “unravel” a little more of my own sorrow scroll. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, so very moving… I know what you mean about the words gathering… so often I look at the words I have penned and wonder where they came from and how they got on the page…. especially in times of grief.. my peace to you. Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Some seeds are buried, some scattered…” There’s no prescribed way to do this, amico, and if you had any wisdom, it would be as good for this as a high wind is for dousing a wildfire, anyway. You are buried and scattered and everywhere exactly how much you’re supposed to be, where I’m always no more than a step away. 💓

    Liked by 1 person

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