On Mourning

by Narph   Apr 8, 2016

I'm sitting on my bed tonight,
studiously pressing orange play-dough
into the palms of my hands,
cupping and squeezing,
examining the harsh creases
it imprints, criss-crossed.
It's always the little moments.
I suspect it always will be.

I think of your hands
and your thumbs and your clay,
and pause, blindly.
What a shame not to have had the play-dough on hand.
I could have pressed it to your palms in the dim morning light,
caught the lines of fortune before they turned cold,
left the dough out to dry and harden,
immortalized the divots
that guided me through my formative years.

Of course it's ridiculous, my brain responds,
who brings play-dough to a death bed?
But it feels like a loss.
I think, maybe it's not too late,
maybe I still could--- but no.

Your hands don't exist anymore.
Burned to ash along with your soft white hair
and deep grey eyes.

I put the play-dough away,
the lines on my palms, disgusting.


Did You Like This Poem?

Latest Comments

  • 3 years ago

    by Saerelune

    Another remaining weekly contest comment for you. ;)

    "Play-dough is certainly an unique object to be associated with loss, and gives a strong personal character to this poem. My favourite line must be one of the simplest: "It's always the little moments. I suspect is always will be.", for that thought represents a very significant moment of reflection to me which kick-starts the emotional rollercoaster that follows afterwards. At times I thought the writing-style a bit too wordy to digest, I think some phrases could've been shorter, but the emotional gestures and thoughts that are weaved throughout the poem certainly pulled me through. All the things that happen with clay: the shaping, the imprints, it's all so cleverly used in this poem."

  • 4 years ago

    by Darren

    Judges comment

    I didn't read the comments until I had decided to award 10 for this piece. It was missed last week, however I didn't judge last week due to illness. I agree with Hellon. This is worthy of the front page.
    What goes in its favor is the lack of nominated poems this week so it stands a good chance of being picked by another judge as well as myself. Some of the more experienced poets on this site should be using their nominations more. (I am also guilty of this) It is difficult to judge when a vast majority of the poems are very similar. I can't really go into more detail.
    This poem stood out to me.
    Why a 10?
    I love a poem that you can read and imagine yourself being in that scenario. I love the simplicity of using dough, I love the real sense of loss towards the end. It left a lasting impression with me as all good poems should. 10 points.

  • 4 years ago

    by Fan Angeleo

    Play dough added to death, imagery and gone to sadness with rememberance of the good youthful years. Just great.

    • 2 years ago

      by mossgirl19

      I have to agree with this!Just great!

  • 4 years ago

    by Brenda

    Beautiful imagery-beautiful poem-congratulations on your win!

  • 4 years ago

    by GB

    I can't find the suitable words to describe the depth and the beauty of this piece, your mature words made me wonder, perhaps having these palm prints could have made the pain of the bereavement much worse...

    One of the very best poems I read lately, congratulations and thank you for sharing.