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the thing is…

10 November 2010

this poem absolutely moved me to tears today, so it’s number one on my list of things to make me happy today. [emphasis mine.]

The Thing Is [by Ellen Bass]

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

(From Mules of Love, via The Writer’s Almanac.)

[Photo from Daniel Guillan]

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Erica permalink
    10 November 2010 8:53 pm

    Beautiful. And just what I needed.

  2. 10 November 2010 11:38 pm

    i have already read this twice.

    i will be back to read it again.

    it is nearly perfect.

  3. 23 November 2010 8:14 pm

    holy shit. sorry kids, this is a holy shit poem.

    • sara permalink
      23 November 2010 10:04 pm

      to all:


      this poem…just…sucks all the air out of the room, in the best way possible.

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