And so the tissue-thin skin
covering the scar, sealing in the hurt and anger and grief
and burning, scalding emptiness
has stood well against the test of time.
Or so I think.
A famous sportsman has a skiing accident
A businessman dies in a London underground station
Another throws himself from a tall building in the City
A famous actor’s life is cut short – snap – just like that
And the delicate strands of the healing unravel, tear, gape.
The wound is opened, the bloody depths are revealed.
My throat stretches and aches to keep back the tears
and my eyes burn.
I am reminded that grief is not a path from A to B.
It meanders, traverses peaks and chasms, navigates switchbacks and
launches me into the air.
My parachute is gone, only ropes snaking my ankles –
freefall beckons and just, just when I think I will hit the ground
I am yanked back, ligaments and muscles tearing with effort
to just keep going.
It’s the hardest work I ever imagined.
Because that sorrow, that jolt, that catch of breath isn’t for those who have died, or are unaware.
It is for the souls left behind, making new patterns out of just getting through
wanting it to be temporary-permanent-over-never to end.
What’s left on the other side?
It is this. Just this.


This week, I am releasing some of my pent-up emotions. Life is filled with light and shade. This is how it is, sometimes.

Please do visit the dVerse Open Link Night for examples of some very fine poetry indeed – and be inspired… Join us! I will link up to this week’s post later today.

46 thoughts on “Silk

    1. Indeed we do, and so it does. The trick is to turn that sorrow into something productive. Boy, it’s hard work! But so very satisfying – more than easy writing, that’s for sure.

  1. grief isn’t that straight line…and its something we all carry…i read someone recently that said we are born with grief…and we carry it with us, sometimes silent…until something shakes that foundation…was sad to see the death earlier this week, and tonight hearing another of our past poets passed away…yeah…

  2.’s not a straight line…felt… and it’s tough when things happen for those that suffer like michael schuhmacher and those that suffer with him…his fam who doesn’t know if he’ll ever be the same again…. felt words…

  3. Unlike those whose lives have ended way too soon (like the examples you gave early), at least the rest of us have a chance to rebuild or reform our lives. Even though it may be ‘hardest work,’ it is possible….and there WILL be something on the other side…when we get there.

    1. Indeed we do have that chance, as many of us know only too well. If it wasn’t clear, what I was trying to say was that the other side of the loss is different to before, and sometimes, even the busy art of being in the process of watching our loved one leave can be preferable – at some point – to the seeming void of ‘after’. It’s early for me to get my head round – this is just my way of organising my feelings.

  4. It seems the untimely deaths, or accidents, you have mentioned have rubbed salt into wounds that were still healing. I totally agree with you that “grief is not a path from A to B.” And sometimes we feel we are stuck very near A while we would much prefer to be closer to B.

  5. yes, i do not believe there is a path through grief, each of us must find our way…though not necessarily alone…poems like yours help people feel connected by virtue of the shared feelings you write about…and yes, it really is this, just this.

  6. it is very interesting that events happening to people we don’t actually know can open up such powerful emotions in us. Perhaps modern communication methods speak to a universal consciousness.

  7. Such powerful and painful imagery with the yanking back from freefall. Strong emotions beautifully expressed.

  8. I see that silk parachute grounded. When I was in the midst of deep grief I remember it feeling like having been abducted and looking for other people that had also been abducted so I could learn more and not feel so alien.

    1. Yes, I can see exactly what you mean about feeling abducted – it’s as if you have been removed from all normality, and you can’t feel any connection with the world carrying ona round you.

  9. Very well written Freya, I was told when my dad died that grief is a roller coaster and that’s what you have described here and what I go through as well. Just when you think all is well something happens to remind me of what has occurred. I think your poem is very accurate in thinking about my own experiences.

  10. Wow. I was gripped by this piece. I think you did a wonderful job describing the way it feels to grieve. “I am reminded that grief is not a path from A to B.” yes! nice work Freya!

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