The Condolence Call

A poem


I cradle the phone gently.

You are so far away.


Your grief surrounds you now

like a moat full of dark water.


I cannot reach

far enough to comfort you.


My words flit around, useless

as flies.

What, after all, can be said?


It’s a parent’s worst nightmare, you say.


I imagine I would have howled.

I imagine I would have rolled on the floor.

But in the end, I cannot begin to imagine.


I’ll be okay, you say,


but your voice is so remote,

as if you’ve left us all


for a bleaker planet


where the air is charred,

and you cannot find the path

that leads

back home.