After The Funeral by Hibah Shabkhez

After The Funeral

From the blighted house the children pour out
Shuffling, grinning guiltily, then laughing
Their sorrow not forgotten but drowned out
By cool breezes and the sun’s soft shining.

From the vast wilderness of their broken
Hearts, the parents harvest each laugh, each word
At once sore and balm to the unfrozen
Hurt, the wound febrile as a hunting bird

That adds a ghost to each movement and sound:
A frail, dancing wind-shadow with the grace
Of the little lost one. Watching the ground
Before the doorway yearn for the one face

It will not see again, they faintly know:
This will become a sacred memory,
The first day of healing, learning to show
Smiling new faces to time’s thieving sea

by Hibah Shabkhez, first published in The Rockford Review

Editor’s Note: This poem’s beautiful imagery skillfully evokes the contradictory emotions present in a terrible loss when everyone knows that life and death are inextricably entwined.


5 responses to “After The Funeral by Hibah Shabkhez”

  1. Larry Schug Avatar

    The children lead. The wise follow them.

  2. Cathryn Essinger Avatar
    Cathryn Essinger

    Heartbreaking poem after a difficult winter.

  3. Lucie Winborne Avatar
    Lucie Winborne

    Such a beautifully descriptive use of language to convey the emotions of both children and adults. Masterful even in its simplicity.

  4. richardsund Avatar

    A very touching poem. Beautifully composed.

  5. crsunde Avatar

    Lovely images and subtle end rhymes with interesting funeral content. Thanks

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