I wrote this poem on the day that marked 5 years since my brother died tragically in a car accident ten days before his 29th birthday. John was a poet-naturalist much attuned to the spirit of Thoreau and Emerson. Due to his ability to combine his love of the outdoors with his soul-inscribed poetry, it is fitting that I find myself most connected to my brother’s spirit while I am either in nature, or envisioning it within my heart. Since I live in Florida, and am a true water sign, it seemed authentic to experience my grief on this anniversary through poetry and the seemingly real, physical experience of an ocean wave crashing through me.
An Ocean Waving
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins March 11, 2009
An ocean waving, crashing up inside my heart,
pours out in tears out of nowhere, nothingness
–A football team tackling me off my feet, snags away my energy
So I must sit down, catch a single breath between sobs that flow
like a rushing waterfall,
–though in silence–
with the invisible gap left here where you used to exist.
I dry my face, push on with shaky steps, dazed through daily tasks like a ghost
hearing echoes of your voice, my voice, our moments spent
without any inkling of your unexpected departure from this world.
The ocean roars deep in my heart, pulsing, moving, flowing, rising
–and the entire athletic team of bulk bulldozes me over until I gasp for air
Wind knocked out, desperately held upright
by a simple chair
This is what I feel because you are not here.