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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

When It Hits

By Arlene Corwin

Sometimes it hits ten years later:
So and so is dead.
It didn’t hit
The night
You heard.
It was a phone call. You had guests.
And then, he lived so far away.
Years later – now, for instance,
There are feelings showing up:
Feelings others felt at once
When you, the dunce, felt nothing.
Someone who, at one time close,
No longer close, no longer is.
They call it sadness – and it is.
Not guilt, but weight
Unanswerable, unexplorable.

It passes,
Like the ghost that memory is;
And yet
Implanted somewhere in the synapses,
Relationships have ways of showing,
Starting up against the will.

We have to go through leaves-of-absence;
Make excuses to feel better by;
Any dense or hollow theory
That fits the frame.
[It’s] awful to be struck, knocked, curbed,
Awful to be any violence-verbed
When suddenly
You really know
That someone’s gone forever,
(at least your ‘ever’).

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Powerful, true words.

Wow, Arlene. This is such a thoughtful, emotional, powerful story.

"Not guilt, but weight
Unanswerable, unexplorable."
Your use of language is simply outstanding.

Thank you.

Thank you so much!
Arlene Corwin

You've caught the moment: The survivor's guilt, the lump-in- the-throat, the pain, and the web of excuses we make to ourselves.


This is a great piece. You have captured the feel of this experience, for me anyway, and your writing style lends grace and tension to the flow.
I hope the writing of it accomplished what you might have wanted to feel.

How true Arlene - you captured exactly that aching sense of loss that catches one unexpectedly - beautiful piece of writing - thank you

Wonderful words - and so true.

I'm so flattered. To all you wonderful people who responded and said (so articulately and elegantly what I would have wanted to hear, thank you, thank you.
Write to me anytime at
Or look me up on Youtube,
Or even arlene corwin poetry.com
And thank you again - all of you!

It really hits me hard at times when walk in the cemetery and see the headstones for people who passed on and I wasn't in the area for the funeral. It's tough to deal with never having said goodbye, and when physical distance is there, it's tough to even figure out. Thank you for sharing.

Thank YOU for sharing!

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