Long Before Courage
(a poem about grief in the age of machines)
By John Fox

Grief comes first
and won't stop
memory drives
for a long way
like this, further
into night's despair,
farther away from
the hard morning of
goodbye, which is only
one memory within memory.
Yet this goodbye

is the dumb voice of everything, the fossil of all memories,
the silent grit one feels everywhere while
moving away from the mind's pain,
from impossible desperation.
And crossing the border, entering the body,
goodbyes are tears, the way a body
goes nowhere fast.
Somewhere, within memory and tears,
driving deep into the wilderness
of what never forgets,
comes the slow, present, aching awareness
of my heart, hands and arms
and the question,
what do they mean?

The heart-aching question of hands and arms.
What is the heart-aching question?

John is also our Poet Chat Poet this issue. Check out what he has to say there!


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