What Have You Lost?

Poet Naomi Shahib Nye

spent years collecting

poems of loss.

Loss resonants.

I am quick to remember

the lost button,

favorite jacket,

childhood book.

These easy memories

block the door

in my mind’s eye

to larger losses —

loved ones,

innocence,

understanding.

Loss may be inevitable,

but,

no one every tells you

what to do

with the empty space

left behind.

7 thoughts on “What Have You Lost?

  1. Powerful poem on loss. I like how you said these easy memories block the door to larger losses, loved ones… In your few poignant lines you capture so much. Thanks for this.

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  2. Simple words, but loss does leave that empty space behind, doesn’t it? And I can more easily explore that feeling thinking about my grandmother’s pin that fell off while I was in a metro bus at age 24 than i can thinking about the deaths of my parents…

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  3. Thanks so much for this! Even the loss of a glove can send me spiraling. The loss of someone close to us is a raw bloody wound that is invisible to all but ourselves at times.

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  4. Such a powerful ending to a poem about loss. No one tells you what to do with the empty space left behind (snap-snap!). Love the contrast between the concrete and the abstract. Well done!

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  5. thisyogimadre says:

    Wow…the empty space left behind–how beautiful. Loss feels so raw in that emtpy space. It is something from which I usually run but now am beginning to just give it space.

    Like

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