The Mourning of Us


Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

The Mourning of Us

How I wish I had known you
before the coma came
and then the awakening —
they all said you were a happy child
full of laughter and joy
but I’ve only known the sad
melancholy child — eyes cast downward
a permanent frown creased upon her face

If only your memory hadn’t been erased
perhaps I would recognize you
and you, me —
I’ve never known the person
who stares at me in the mirror
all these long and lonely decades
just as I didn’t recognize
mother, father or sister back then

Mother said it was nonsense
that I couldn’t remember
and I believed, I believed her
wanting desperately to fit in
but I never did —
I had no refuge from my plight
no one to hold me and tell me
everything will be alright

I carved my own path through life
a windy, twisted road of darkened forests
seeking shelter in caves so deep and dank
and although I longed for the light
I found no solace there —
I hid from the sun, from laughter
and the people I should have embraced
but trust was an enemy; doubt, my friend

Even now I want to enfold you in my arms
heal you and heal me too —
I’d give up lifetimes to erase
what that illness stole from us
to know love and laughter
and the peace that comes with wholeness —
How long should I mourn for you, for me
and the life we should have lived?

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

The River and The Sea

The deep felt tragedy of this:

“If only it could bear the dead
And bring you back to me”

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No Talent For Certainty

The river travels through the land
And out into the sea;
If only it could bear the dead
And bring you back to me

We’d travel off into the blue,
And far away from shore:
But we all go where we must go,
And you’ll be back
No more

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A Moment Too Late

Powerful poem about lost opportunities – amazing vivid images in this piece.
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I loved you
out of possibility,
out of chance
and uncoordination.

We crashed
a moment too late,
so “what ifs?”
became “should haves”
before we felt the stop,
the heart-pounding end
of the accident of us.

It’s the “too late”
that gets us,
that breathes doubts
and desires
into our lungs,
and it’s the possibility
that knocks
ten thousand cracks
into our skin,
into the facades
we so carefully crafted.

We were only
“could have been”
and that’s what kills us
every time.



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Glass, Miles, and the Pull of Gravity

Powerful imagery… I can feel the fall and the horrible pull of gravity!
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I feel the slipping,
the grasping you do
right before you leap
head first
off the cliff you carry
in your path.
Your fingernails dig in
but they’re only
as strong as you let them,
so they crack
and you fall
and I watch,
a helpless voyeur
trapped behind glass and miles.

You say you’re coming back
and I can feel the pull
of that sad magic
trailing behind you
like gravity,
yanking me back in
as if I had never left.



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Poignant poem with vivid imagery… I know this all too well
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Shawn L. Bird

How strange

that this space that was always filled by you

is vacant now.

Some time,

I don’t know when,

you stopped paying rent and disappeared.

Now the corner where you lived

has fallen into disrepair

and when I look for what used to be

I see only

moldy fragments in the space

that was yours.

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That Bastard Schopenhauer – Poetry

To say that all we desire:
Procreate and then die!
Death is all that awaits me then —
My memory fades
with no offspring to emulate me
no one to say, she’s just like her mother
No, no one will praise
these ghastly hands nor this bitter mouth
nor these sheets of words
worn raw and bloodied
My own selfish claw ripped
away any hope of excellence
No amount of labor will bear my likeness —
No colony of bees will swarm
To protect my womb
No, not for me —
I will die as I have lived
alone and lonely upon this earth
forgotten, forgotten
and give my last breath to Death

Copyright ©2014, Lori Carlson

Unripen – Poetry

These thin vines hang burdened by berries
As black birds await first signs of ripening

I was once an unripen girl–thin, gangly
Hanging on your every word–wide-eyed, in awe
Your dark eyes searching for signs of womanhood

You plucked away at my innocence–foul-mouthed
Filling my head with pornographic filth
Your hands finding reasons to brush my thighs
Or gentle hugs that lingered far too long

I didn’t understand your advances then
My young mind still blossoming, not caught up
With the changes of breasts and curves

The night you forced yourself upon me
Did my unripen berries leave a bitter taste?

Copyright ©July 2015 Lori Carlson