Incongruous

I have been struggling with the concept of pain and grief of late, with my father’s death in the midst of a global pandemic as a backdrop. It was a beautiful morning the day after he died, and that seemed somehow confusing to me – just as the spectacular blue skies on September 11, 2001 seemed incongruous in relation to the events of that day. Nature, I realized, cares little for our human woes – which is almost reassuring. It will continue on after we are gone. I tried to put some of that into words in the following poem.


Incongruous

We expect the coming
of trauma to be
on the oil-thick flapping wings
of gloom and storm,
of crashing winds, and rain
clawing at the exposed
bits of skin, a weeping
sky to match that of man.
We do not expect
it to be a fair-weather friend,
for war to wear the gentle trappings
of a June day, warm,
soft with sunlight
for shells to crash
into hillsides where ants
crawl as ants do
or that when
the stock-still corpses alone
remain, the bees will journey on
in a manner both comforting
and insulting.