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The other side of loss, by Britta Benson

This poem is my response to Brian Vos’s Weekly Poetry Prompt on http://www.brianvos.com. This week’s theme: Two sides of loss. Here’s the link to his page: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/107936767/posts/3910516669

It got me thinking about the time, two and a half years ago, when my mum died. A few months after her death, I helped my dad clearing out her wardrobe. Here’s my poem.

The other side of loss

What if the letting go is easy?

Sorting through mum’s clothes,
I’m clearing space, 
so that memories can breathe.

There’s already an empty chair,
an unslept in side of a double bed,
vacancies crept up all over the house.

What if they are gaps for dreams?

There’s a family home 
filled to the brim 
with things upon things,
that need dealt with, 
their services no longer required.
Dad cannot possibly begin. 

Mum’s wardrobe weighs us down.
This is the flowy summer dress 
she wore at my wedding.
I liked her in the muted green,
that perfectly matched the colour 
and sparkle of her eyes.
Now, the fabric feels limp
and heavy in my hands.

I touch, I hold,
thought I’d want to keep 
every hat, scarf, glove
she ever knitted.

Is it wrong, that I don’t?

On the other side of loss,
I carve out more and more spaces.
Pack up bags and bags full of stuff
that doesn’t mean anything anymore.

Perhaps, I’m leaving a little opening.
For fresh air.
For hope.
Make no mistake.
She’s still here.
We carry her.

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