Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss

Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss


Writer’s poem Wednesday is back. The past few months I was away, I came across some great poems which were previously unfamiliar to me. I love striking a chord with new poetry. Today’s poem talks about a woman whose son resembles her deceased brother, both in mannerism and physically. Its a beautiful reflection of the aftermath of the death of a loved one. I hope you like it.

A drink of water by Jeffrey Harrison

When my nineteen-year-old son turns on the kitchen tap
and leans down over the sink and tilts his head sideways
to drink directly from the stream of cool water,
I think of my older brother, now almost ten years gone,
who used to do the same thing at that age;

and when he lifts his head back up and, satisfied,
wipes the water dripping from his cheek
with his shirtsleeve, it’s the same casual gesture
my brother used to make; and I don’t tell him
to use a glass, the way our father told my brother,

because I like remembering my brother
when he was young, decades before anything
went wrong, and I like the way my son
becomes a little more my brother for a moment
through this small habit born of a simple need,

which, natural and unprompted, ties them together
across the bounds of death, and across time …
as if the clear stream flowed between two worlds
and entered this one through the kitchen faucet,
my son and brother drinking the same water.


6 thoughts on “Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss

  1. Nice piece.

    Here’s another: [by me]
    NINETEEN-FOURTY-FOUR [dancing the foxtrot]

    I saw my parents
    Young and full of themselves
    He, an Army Air Force pilot
    She, a hostess at the USO.

    The sudden rushing realization
    Of youth, impetuousness, and intention
    To make a difference
    In a world at war.

    Feeling grateful for this…
    This source of influence is deep in my bones.

    Dictates of the time
    Flying into the future, together,
    Flying in formation
    Towards a life together

    Moving on as seeing them anew
    No longer as old: young, with all that vigor.

    No dementia any more
    They are dancing the foxtrot together to Benny Goodman.


  2. Oh my gosh, that was an amazing poem. Vivid and poignant and the ending! I love the ending lines, the way the poet talks about how such a small habit can connect two realities, two memories, two people so far away. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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