Vox Populi

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Deborah Bogen: Two Poems

After the Aftermath

I think of the ways we got it wrong.  All the things we didn’t know. Who did it — and why — where it was done and how we can think about the Lord’s Prayer as thirteen ways of looking at a tragedy. There are many scientific strategies for finding the bodies, radar that penetrates dirt and signs left by scavenging insects. Sometimes the earth is disturbed, maybe a mound or a place where the soil is compacted. Sometimes we use dogs. It helps not at all that loss is a thing as old as night. What I really need is a way to build a shrine to the child not yet dead. 

What I Do Now

I get up early to investigate the needs of the day. I turn myself into a wall, a blank, a separate thing. I give up being the key that fits their locks. I embrace new strategies: do not bargain, do not meddle, do not explain. Invisible rivers still flow between us, but I know they too have been granted a secret life.So I un-learn the way the one walks and the way her sister turns her head. About their hearts, I do not speak. Like apple trees they’ve sunk roots into their own meadows. Therefore: joy. Also, this vague disembodied grief. I must pack away my craving for their childish vulgar laughter.

Copyright 2022 Deborah Bogen. From Speak Now This Charm (Jacar Press, 2022).

Deborah Bogen

4 comments on “Deborah Bogen: Two Poems

  1. Lisa Zimmerman
    July 15, 2022

    Two piercing poems❤️


    • Vox Populi
      July 15, 2022

      Yes, the poems don’t so much describe the world as create it.



  2. ssuntree
    July 13, 2022

    Moving work. Thank you, Deborah.


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This entry was posted on July 13, 2022 by in Personal Essays, Poetry and tagged , , , , , .

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