by Gregory Orr

Could it all be said in a single poem
And not be completely cryptic?
There’s Issa’s haiku about
His daughter’s death:

“This world of dew
is only a world of dew.
And yet, ah, and yet . . .”

How the two lines seem to accept
That life is ephemeral
And then that last:
A cry of quiet anguish.

Accept, but protest. Yield,
Then resist.
                             The heart
Would have it both ways.
To see the world and say it true
Means starting with loss.
But that’s not what the heart wants,
That’s not where the saying stops.

        For Sam Hamill

First published in Rattle #24, Winter 2004. Posted to the Rattle website on 24 October 2010.