Friday, February 26, 2010


How Does One Reconcile Loss?

Perhaps there is no perfect way to commemorate a tragic event, but to forget it is certainly not a good choice. Of course, there are numerous accidents almost everyday and people are affected by the loss they create, but when a plane crashes it rekindles the tragic event of 9/11, and such is the case with the Flight 3407 which ended the lives of those on the airplane on Feb. 12, 2009.

Needing to heal from the tragedy, poets, writers, family members and friends from the Buffalo area put together the collection The Empty Chair: Love and Loss in the Wake of Flight 3407 edited by Gunilla Theander Kester and Gary Earl Ross.

Sympathetic Grounding
by Jane Sadowsky

The birds didn't fly on Friday.
I know; I looked for them.
I wanted to see wings that stayed aloft,
that ferried their passengers safely
from tree to tree.

The birds didn't sing on Friday.
In vain, I listening for them.
I wanted to hear sweet warbling,
to drown out the sirens in my head.

The flowers didn't bloom on Friday.
Though February, I searched for them.
The rose that opened to the night air,
had petals of flame.
Its scent lingers.

The empty spaces grow large and larger,
empty seats, empty hands,
empty hearts.

The earth, charred beneath our feet,
swallows our hopes.

The embroidery threads have broken;
the hoop spills.

Long, it will be, and long,
before we can talk of this
without tears.

The birds didn't fly on Friday.
Like our hearts, stilled.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Jane Sadowsky.

With loss, one needs time, for time allows the healing to take place. And the process of grieving calls forth our need for explanation but at times there is no explanation; things just are, yet, we continue to ask as does Kester in the following poem:

Conjugating Grief (for Susan)
by Gunilla Theander Kester

Promised Land. Should I ever find
you on my own, turn me to salt
if you wish, but I will step
over your threshold backward.

When you meet your Moses, taking you
through the desert to the promised land,
do you always know it? Do you know
you must arrive along?

Past tense: Hallelujah, I get it. I am fluent in
Egypt, slavery, hard labor and bitter herbs.

Future tense--@ present scrambled, Can't de-
cipher its hieroglyphics, useless text.

Yet that conditional tense, effort of
every moment, my constant companion:

What if?
What if?

If only?

Copyright (c) 2010 by Gunilla Theander Kester.

To purchase this collection of poetry, fiction, and essays, click on the link below:
The Empty Chair

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