Sitting with my Sister by Greg Watson

Sitting with my Sister

When I received the news today of your
passing—a fact somehow known, viscerally,
before I touched the phone to listen—
I wanted only to keep it to myself,
to not speak to anyone during those
long, slow-moving minutes, their silence
demanding only more silence,
their time, more time. I wanted to hold
you there, secretly, perhaps selfishly,
between that cave of heart and ribcage,
to hold you suspended like a single breath,
or a seed which I was neither able to
swallow or spit out. I wanted to cradle
that moment, inseparable from you,
hovering like a thought not quite formed, not
simply for the sake of sparing others,
but to sit with you one last time, as we had
near the end in your tiny apartment,
too quiet for you, and those drugstore
Christmas lights blinking on and off
against the smoky California sun.
I wanted merely to sit with you once more,
just us, before picking up the phone,
handing you back to the world of
the living, the realm you had so recently
left behind, weightless and wordless
now, suddenly beyond the endless
aches and ailments of matter, your absence
only beginning to make itself known.

by Greg Watson

Editor’s Note: When grief happens, poetry is often the only thing that can describe the moment that suspends love between present and past. This poem’s concise imagery offers that moment as both eulogy and lament.

One thought on “Sitting with my Sister by Greg Watson

  1. A beautiful.poem and for one grieving one loss and expecting another death, I understand and appreciate this poem’s subtle feelings and thoughts. Bravo !


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