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,



Loss may be inevitable,


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.


  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…


  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.


  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!


  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.


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