by Monica Welty
This poem was written by a bereaved parent from Brief Encounters; we share it with her permission and our gratitude.
I would like to come and sit next to your pain
and you to mine.
Let’s cradle it, here together
on this soft couch in this big house with this lady with kind eyes
She knows our grief without telling hers
sitting here, in a room full of our stories Her short sentences telling us there is somewhere to get to from here.
Let’s whisper it, here to each other
Between sobs, choked in the center of the throat, through the blank stare of shock
So that only we and God can hear. Give Him a moment’s rest from our pleading.
And us, too.
Sit here with me, together
Let’s look at each other, stare and marvel with wide eyes
the million broken shards, some blunt some sharp some splintered
one human to the other: “What has become of you, stranger?”
Let’s paste each other back together. You do some, I do some.
It’s not going to be perfect but
It’s going to be.
Let’s sit here together next to our pain.
Let’s cradle it in the ache of a mother’s arms.
Let’s whisper it so only we and God can hear.