A Poem about Grief


My father set aside ten thousand dollars
for my wedding day
but reduced it by one-fourth
each year I went to college.

I not only went to college;
I earned a Ph.D.
and my father didn’t live
to see me marry.

I didn’t cry in the hospital room
or later at his funeral,
but I wept at a stranger’s wedding
when the bride danced with her father.

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4 Responses to A Poem about Grief

  1. This is so clearly and starkly told. Your words evoke so much. I love it.

  2. Rosemerry says:

    Oh Karen, it’s so beautiful, this poem. I know I have already commented on it, but I feel as if I could converse about this poem for years and years …. through my own children’s graduations and weddings. It says so much/does not say so much about the dance we do with our parents, the metaphoric dance, and the longing for connection. So ouchly lovely.

  3. Eric says:

    A well-constructed and very touching tale.

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