Where There Had Been by Edward Hack

Where There Had Been

Birds chirp the morning in
the clouds revealed by light
gray wind-shaped forms
from which this new day’s born

The stream is filled with shadow trees
black beneath green otherness
Pink the morning’s first surprise
points to a Truth that cannot be denied

Three friends have died in the last three years
One smiles the way he always did
from the card his family sent
Cancer ate his life till it was spent

The sky feels troubled though it’s blue
Too many clouds with sun shot through
are fretted like a criss-crossed mind
stunned by a glimpse of its dasein

An old friend writes that she has Parkinson’s
as bright and fierce as she’s always been
lists her symptoms asks when all the fun
begins stares at a future pinned

a specimen where there had been a life
of purposes and foreign lands
teaching as delight
a bone-deep drive to understand

to change the game
And now she snorts ironically
consoles me for the tsurus I had named
and helplessly is driven to her knees

Next day the water’s oiled ink
the sky inside it gray metallic rippling
Above a bruise of blue and pink and black
though clarity is slowly coming back

as if that makes a difference
The sun’s a golden broken disk
uncanny as all nature is
beyond what we can wish

and we wake into miracles
that babies and the wise can know
while we get through on guess and hope and gall
as seasons turn from seed to bud to snow

by Edward Hack

Editor’s Note: This poem’s meter and rhyme push against the missing punctuation and enjambment—form against formlessness. This tension reflects the poem’s narrative with great skill; moving from clarity and confusion to joy and grief, and further, as the human condition insists.

3 thoughts on “Where There Had Been by Edward Hack

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