Death Barged In

The most profound poem I have ever read on grief was written by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno in her book Slamming Open the Door.  She wrote this after her daughter was brutally murdered.  For many years, our loss takes over every waking and sleeping moment.  Nothing seems to exist but the pain and anguish of loss.

Death Barged In

In his Russian greatcoat,
slamming open the door
with an unpardonable bang,
and he has been here ever since.

He changes everything,
rearranges the furniture,
his hand hovers
by the phone;
he will answer now, he says;
he will be the answer.

Tonight he sits down to dinner
at the head of the table
as we eat, mute;
later, he climbs into bed
between us.

Even as I sit here,
he stands behind me
clamping two
colossal hands on my shoulders
and bends down
and whispers to my neck:
from now on,
you write about me.

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