Tag Archives: Death

Falling

Parrish Broady—
a boy who hadn’t reached out
to grab my memory
in a long damn time.
But driving fast down 46
I see a truck waiting for its turn
to pull into traffic.
Broady Electric.
Blue letters.
The association begins.
A middle aged man
behind the wheel.
Middle age
never grayed the hair
of Parrish Broady.
Never calloused his soft hands.
Middle age didn’t arrive
with a birthday cake blazing
or a crisis of identity loitering
in his high school yearbooks.
Parrish Broady—
the boy with the strange name—
more haunting
now that he’s gone—
now that I have lived
more than double his short life.
Parrish Broady—
the boy
who must have climbed that tree
a hundred times—
that tree that was finally able
to reach its branches
into the powerlines
like fingers searching blindly
for the switch in a dark room.
And he perished—
the young boy
the son
the little brother
the friend
the beloved and adventurous kid
who must have mistaken
that dark limb for the one
that would keep him
from falling.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-7-18

Cancer Center

The waiting room
is without warmth—
grays and blues
and faces
lined with concern
sallow with fear
some of them
seeking answers
some of them
wringing their hands
with a knowledge
they hope
to radiate away
and it’s hard to tell
the difference
between
the body language
of the sick
and those
who are writhing
uncomfortably
waiting
for their loved one
to become a ghost.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-19-17

 

With the Dead

It’s a cold night
almost Christmas
and I am wishing
it would all
be over
when I find myself
stuck in traffic
driving slow
parallel
to the ancient
iron fencing
between me
and the cemetery
and I pull in
as if someone
is calling my name
from behind
the skeleton trees
and I follow
the narrowing road
to its logical
dead end
and I kill the engine
and step out
to touch the granite
stones
that are so heavy
with what it means
to be crushed
by an accumulation
of days
and I lay down
on the earth
beside a man
named Jim
who died in 1913
and then I stare
at the moon
as if it could answer
the question
of how to feel
alive.

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-16-17

Ghost

It’s you again
keeping me awake
keeping me from sleep—
that place I no longer dream of you.
It’s not that I’m annoyed— no.
I’m never bothered by your visits
or the way you distract me
or interrupt my task.
What worries me is the way
you dissolve over time—
the way you leave me
alone more often now.
I have loved to be lost
in the comfort of your memory
but I fear one day
I will forget to remember you.

 

DeMaris Gaunt
9-12-16

Carved

Of all the poems I’ve written, this one is probably my favorite. It reflects the many times I’ve contemplated the death of my youngest, who has various health problems. I often wonder if it might be offensive. No doubt some mothers won’t agree with the sentiment here. But I see life as beautiful not because it’s smooth and easy (it’s mostly that), but because it can be so damn hard. And how happy would you be if your heart had never been broken, scattered and rearranged?  Have a listen.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/w9izpilvtqtngar/Carved.m4a?dl=0

Now

The childless mother
wants to be alone on Mother’s Day
to stare out the window
into the world she no longer shares
with the little boy, who long ago,
brought her glistening dandelions
bursting from his little brown hand
and decorated her hair
with the yellow joy of life—
treasures collected after a storm
turned the earth to mud.
That day wasn’t Mother’s Day—
but it’s the one she remembers
on the second Sunday each May
when she’d give anything to go back
and withdraw the reprimand
for the traces of mud he left
on his way to make her smile.

 

DeMaris Gaunt
5-9-16