Anticipatory Grief


This heartfelt offering comes to us from my friend Vija, who waits in empathic prayer for her friend’s child to heal from the haunting feelings that threaten her life.

The Lake

You are deeply asleep in the stern of the boat
lying on a dense cushion
tucked up snugly against the wood ribs
wrapped in wool that repels the splashes.

We here are panicked:
trying to navigate while sinking
shouting to be heard above the storm.

The boat is tipping so perilously
that we beat the oars aimlessly against the air
as often as we plow them through the water.

We, furious, shake you awake —
pissed off that you would drift away
in such a moment as this.

You chasten us (what??)
then right the boat
and flatten the water
whose area under the wet, curved surface
was a complex calculus equation
only moments ago.

Where is our faith, you demand.

Because apparently
peace is present, but for the asking.

So we must ask.

Maybe bail for a bit too —
praying and cursing
as we toss bucketful
after bucketful
of water
back into the lake.

Vija Merrill  2020


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