For the Death of My Ex-Husband by Elise Hempel

For the Death of My Ex-Husband

The first four stages of grief
have been accomplished, in random order,
a few repeated, with no clear border,
denial more like disbelief,

but the fifth – acceptance – almost
there on a sunny day, and then
refusing its place on the list again,
elusive as the five-word ghost

of your voice our daughter now
plays on her cell-phone over and over,
her finger in its endless hover,
passing the stop-square, pressing the arrow.

by Elise Hempel

Editor’s Note: This poem uses enjambment to great effect, highlighting the narrator’s sorrow (over her loss—so complicated, and her daughter’s—so easy to understand).


2 responses to “For the Death of My Ex-Husband by Elise Hempel”

  1. J.R. Solonche Avatar
    J.R. Solonche

    So very compelling and poignant and haunting.

    1. Elise Hempel Avatar
      Elise Hempel

      Many thanks. A tough one to write, especially so soon after.

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