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Thursday, July 29, 2010

THE SYMPATHY CARD


When I bought a card for you to say,
“I’m sorry about your father’s passing”,
I meant to send it to you on Monday.
People who know me well, can tell you
I have trouble with sending things on time,
using a calendar, or keeping appointments.
I never sent you the card bought from an
aisle in Acme when I was grocery shopping.

A few weeks later, another coworker’s Dad
died and I thought to send your card to him.
But I didn’t have the address and felt awkward
reminding him of his father’s battle with cancer.

Two months went by and when I found the card
in my bill box, I felt terrible about not sending
it to either one of you. A while later, another
woman at work was headed overseas to bury
her father, suddenly dead, a massive heart attack.
I couldn’t get it together and never sent the card.

Then a paper appeared in the main office, stating
the boss would be out all week making arrangements
for her father in Delaware, who’d been ill for a long time.
I kept the card and wondered what was wrong with me.

In the summer, my sister called crying in the message
she’d left on the voice mail of my cell phone-
Our father had passed away. He had been ill, but no one
could believe that he’d get taken from us so soon.

When I returned from the funeral and went to my desk,
I came upon the unsent sympathy card and it was then
that I finally understood what it was like and how it felt.
And it was then that I cried just a little bit longer.

2 comments:

Annie said...

This poem caught my emotions, in a way I did not expect. Thank you for publishing it. I have many unsent cards. The way you wrote this is particularly poignant. The card was for you (or the speaker of the poem- this is my first time reading you, so I don't know). I've got tears running down my cheeks.

Libby said...

Very poignant and heartfelt. I read this last year and was just thinking about it today. This poem of yours has inspired me in so many ways. Thank you, Libby x @Libbypoetry