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.

* * *

I don’t usually repeat recent posts so soon, but this one seems appropriate for Father’s Day. I miss you, Dad.

66 thoughts on “Empty Cup

  1. Robert this is a sad and beautiful piece of writing. One of the most profound lessons for me when my dad died twenty some years ago was the absolute depth of my ignorance… captured in your last three lines. Sending warm thoughts your way.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Unfinished 2 – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  3. ” I am nothing, I say. I am voice, I am loss, I am name. I am memory. I am son.”
    This sums up how grief takes over everything once the wave rolls in. I’m sorry for your loss, but at the same time thankful you were able to create such a fine piece of poetry in dedication to your father. 🖤

    Liked by 2 people

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