The Week of Aching Conversations

by Tanya Southey   Jan 21, 2020

Holding space for grief,
even without words
we communicate
through eye contact
at traffic lights;
and our exchanges speak
of fear through the haze
that holds the city;
these wordless conversations
with strangers,
easier than speaking
what is on our minds

Less often than we want
we speak of those we lost;
the ones who went too soon
and left our conversations
hanging in a place with no reply
“Remember how he smiled?”
And because you do,
the empty tin of my heart
feels slightly less hollow

Last year I watched my mother
almost die and we hung on
every word that spoke prognosis
and slowly she recovered
to something
that she wasn’t before

And now we speak of species
and ecosystems,
worried that we too will
never see the sun
in the same way we did before;
that the moon will remain red
screaming through the smoke
that the past seemed better
but created a future
where our conversations with nature
will only echo in our memories.

© Tanya Southey


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