Behind this Cloudiness: Poems During Mourning

My Toll Is Rising
(crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge)

I am the dark Atlantic hiding treachery.
I am the calcified fossils of the brave and stupid.
I am wide-eyed boy with faint pulse racing.
I am the stink beneath the grassy mound posing as natural.
I am the missing and the missed.
I am the change I constantly scavenge from ashes.

(for my brother, Michael)

You won’t go
to her grave alone;
perhaps there are things
you’ve said that still
haunt you, things
you’ve done that still
make you wonder if
god knows, is still watching
waiting for your apology
your tears which you can
not face alone, but must
face before her decaying
body, soul, fading

She Hits You Because She Hates You
(to Matthew)

She feels she hurts more—
that the loss of her youngest, only daughter
gives her pain the right to be more painful.
She has lost a physical part of her self. A piece of her heart
of her flesh is rotting away in a blue dress,
in a far too expensive shiny white casket.
Her hand beating against your soft brown skin
is her pounding her constantly cooling heart.

(c) 2021 Lawrence D. Benson. All rights reserved.