Absence – A Poem

For Boston & dVersePoets

It burns to breathe,
Leaning into the shadow
of a faded memory-
No words, just silence
Exhaling the absence
of nouns & verbs
which billow // like a
tangled stream of smoke,
It burns to breathe.

Gretchen Leary 2013

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About Gretchen Leary

I am 30 years old, I live in the Boston area, and I am writing from the perspective of an individual with Asperger's Syndrome.
This entry was posted in Dedications, dVersePoets Prompt, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Absence – A Poem

  1. This is lovely and simple, but very affecting. Does it relate to the Boston bombing? I can see how it might, and yet it also says something about absence in general. It works very well either way. It’s very pleasing visually, too.

    • Hi there, yes it is related to what happened here and about loss in general as well. Thank-you for your kind words. I didn’t know what to write so I just wrote about what I couldn’t write. It’s odd how that works out sometimes.

  2. Ray Sharp says:

    i really like this poem, gretchen, for the words and the way you arrange them, the // and the smoke simile that follows, ties it all together

  3. It’s strong and gentle…not sure if you meant it to be. Just feels it to me. I love the way you put words together. Just right.

  4. Akila says:

    burns to breathe and leaves its mark too! 🙂

  5. claudia says:

    i think each write can relate to such silence times…and sometimes it’s just good to listen to the silence until we see the words again..

  6. claudia says:

    meant..each writer…

  7. heidi says:

    Sad poem and a lovely tribute Gretchen.

  8. festivalking says:

    I can relate to this in a big way
    … Hugs from Nigeria!

  9. Laurie Kolp says:

    Beautiful image you ended with, Gretchen.

  10. 1emeraldcity says:

    Like the way you parenthesize your poem with opener and closing…”it burns to breathe”…yes…a strong sense of absence!

  11. poemblaze says:

    Excellent poem. I agree with emeraldcity about the opening and closing. That sort of thing often fails, but it works here.

  12. Gretchen, I caught the difficultly in breathing held within this poem. I think it’s hard for all of us to breathe at all right now. My PTSD kicked in, seeing so many traumatized people, and I ended last night breathing into a paper bag. Better now…

    This is a very good poem. Even if no one got the Boston reference, it stands on its own. Peace, Amy

  13. kkkkaty says:

    ..if you lean into a shadow,, there is nothing else there….but memories..very poignant for me, Gretchen

  14. claudia says:

    enjoyed the re-read… it fits so well for both…personally and the boston tragedy

  15. Rowan Taw says:

    I like the applicability of this: it fits so well with what’s recently occurred, but can apply to so many other contexts.

  16. It burns to breathe is a great phrase… and I love how you use it in this gem of poetry.

  17. I appreciate your approach, when there is nothing but pain and confusion write it out. The truncated piece creates that vital space, perhaps what poetry can contribute to disaster, breathing room. Great work.

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