Hovering In Absentia

i. Hovering

That night . . .
my body turned against me
you praying, willing me to live.
My last breath
words unheard by you.
I am still here.
I hover
in rays of sun
in soft mist beneath grey clouds
in star lit and blackened nights.
My essence ever walks with you.
Savor life, my dearest.
I am content, waiting patiently.

ii. In Absentia

That night . . .
your breath rattled
eyes closed,
never to open again.
Days later
we celebrated your life
even as emptiness suffocated me.
I redecorated yesterday
all mirrors removed.
My reflection without you
too painful, too alone,
reminder of you
in absentia.


I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets, asking folks to write a poem that somehow deals with opposites or uses the literary device of antithesis. One can include simple words in opposition happy/sad, inside/outside; or describe one event from two opposite viewpoints. The opposition can happen in one poem; different stanzas; or even two short poems.  Folks are free to be creative….as long as they deal with opposites! For a different take on the prompt, a satirical one, go to my second post, Mishmash Succotash. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time….come join us and write in opposites or just read along!

33 thoughts on “Hovering In Absentia

    • lillian June 26, 2018 / 2:57 pm

      Ah, you are making me smile, Toni. So glad you enjoyed this one. Hoping you’ll post to the prompt today….would love to see your words here, my friend.


  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) June 26, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    I love how the opposite is the two perspectives… too often we think more of the absence of the one dying than of the relief it can bring to a person being allowed to die.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian June 26, 2018 / 2:59 pm

      Exactly, Bjorn. I just finished a novel and in just a small part of it, there is a discussion of a woman who would not let go…in fact, she ignored the final wishes of her husband refusing to let him go. I think that book was got me thinking in this line today. Glad you enjoyed.


  2. Frank Hubeny June 26, 2018 / 3:09 pm

    I like the redecoration at the end with removing all mirrors. Unexpected, but beautiful ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jo June 26, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    I love your last four lines — poignant and beautiful!


    • lillian June 26, 2018 / 4:05 pm

      Thank you, Jo. We have a dear friend who lost his wife a year ago, after a two year battle with ovarian cancer. My sister-in-law lost my brother to a sudden heart attack at age 51, some twenty+ years ago. Our friend said to us recently, “you know that line where in your wedding we say ‘until death till we part’? Well it’s not true, is it? It keeps going only now it aches.” And my sister-in-law said to me last year, “there is no closure.”


    • lillian June 26, 2018 / 4:07 pm

      Yes. When to let go….how to stay living when a part of us is gone….
      I’ve not had this happen to me……..almost……..but it did not. Thankful for every day.


  4. sarahsouthwest June 26, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    I like this pairing of voices, both ending with the same yearning to be together. I hope the one left behind can learn to savour life again. There is much love here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian June 26, 2018 / 5:35 pm

      Thank you, Sarah. You’ve done a very sensitive reading here. I appreciate your lovely comment.


  5. Grace June 26, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    I like the two points of view, different perspective but ending with words of love and care ~ This moved me Lillian ~

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rothpoetry June 26, 2018 / 9:09 pm

    Wow! Very well done… you can’t get any better opposites than Life and Death!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian June 27, 2018 / 7:20 am

      Thanks, Dwight. It was a somber one to contemplate.


  7. Lona Gynt June 26, 2018 / 11:31 pm

    Grief is the flip-side of love, isn’t it? This is so true and painfully beatiful. Raising a quiet glass to all the blessed damn love in this world. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kim881 June 27, 2018 / 2:24 am

    I like the two perspectives in your antitheses, Lill,and the way you juxtapose death and grief. I love the sweet release, the flying free of the body:
    ‘in rays of sun
    in soft mist beneath grey clouds
    in star lit and blackened nights’
    and the thought that
    ‘My essence ever walks with you’.
    The lines that bring tears to my eyes are:I
    ‘all mirrors removed.
    My reflection without you
    too painful, too alone’.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian June 27, 2018 / 7:22 am

      Thank you, Kim. Yes — death can be a release for the dying, a flying free as you say — and then become a prison of sorts for the one left behind. But hopefully, they “listen” to those last two lines of their dying loved one.

      Liked by 2 people

    • lillian June 27, 2018 / 7:23 am

      This is a very astute comment Vandana. Thank you!


  9. clayandbranches June 27, 2018 / 5:49 am

    Living with grief is not easy. The letting go doesn’t just happen when the survivor wills it to happen. Thank you for painting with such precise brushstrokes the generosity and regret of the one who leaves, as well as the guilt and inability to let go of the one who stays behind… I agree with many of the other comments—your poem is profuse with love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian June 27, 2018 / 7:24 am

      Thank you for this very thoughtful response. It is truly appreciated and comes from the heart of the understanding. It is the “living” with the grief that must continue….even in absentia.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Abigail Gronway June 28, 2018 / 2:44 pm

    I love how you looked at death from both perspectives, from the one left behind as well as the one who left.


  11. jazzytower June 30, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Wow! Such an interesting take on the prompt. End of life, something we all have to deal with. I agree that it’s good when we comply with terminal wishes. But it is sometimes hard to face the facts that in the end it’s about the departed. A nice write Lillian.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s