Loss (Rounded is My Life)

Loss

Rounded is my life, a jewel
sparkling in the summer rain,
spinning round the hollow axis
of a loss without a gain.

Will you for one moment only
silently pick up my pain,
hold it in your gentle hands and
watch the white and biting flame?

Will you say: I’ve seen you suffer?
Will you say: I’ve felt the same?
If you know me and you tell me,
then I have not lived in vain.

You alone can see the beauty
of this tall and forceful flame,
of this shadow of abundance,
of this ghost of life’s full game…

Shall I pass unknown, unnoticed,
shall I die in pointless pain?
You alone can read my eyes and
call me by my real name.

Christina Egan © 2013


The first half of this poem describes a bereavement or a loss akin to it, like a miscarriage or a divorce. The second half turns this work into a love poem or a religious poem; as often in my work, I keep it open. Some of these lines could therefore be read at a funeral.

It is June again, and in northern Europe, rain is as characteristic of this month as sunshine is, and it can be as pleasant! The season might also relate, as often in my poetry, to the person’s age: someone afflicted by loss in the midst of life, when they should be thriving.

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