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.