What of the child that lived?
The dead child died The living child grew up
twenty three years ago loved? grandchildren?
she mourns daily well-mannered, studious
every detail, as novelist? surgeon? drunkard?
nuance of her loss we don't know
gilded in memory she doesn't say
such sorrow preserved only one child
in poetry clung to is spoken of
as if there was nothing no one else
nothing else to live for
The prompt was to write a cleave poem that could be read across or down each column.... I read this prompt early this morning and got nowhere. But this evening I heard a poet read who had lost a child and her specialty (even after 23 years), is grief poems for the dead child. She is so much associated with this subject she is even giving a workshop on the topic. Yet none of the poems include redemption or healing, even the newest poems, which are still on the same subject. And she did mention she had two children, but she didn't read any poems for the child that lived who must be all grown up by now. (I am sure there must be some poems for the other child). I just thought this situation would lend itself to the cleave form -- with one child for each column, the two columns together for the mother.......