Five years ago the cut was surgical.
Just minutes with the boss and it was done
a severance of sinew, muscle, bone
shock was the anesthetic, then slow heal.
This time they used an endless tourniquet
new paradigms, objectives, letters, dates
twisting his job description with new weights
revealing their design by slow degree.
He slept, I fought with dread through winter nights
Is what I think I’m seeing really there?
And then more business, spring – I dropped despair.
The date they gave him passed. We’ll be alright!
Till yesterday – the car door slams, he walks
with office things, like ashes, in a box.
© 2006 – V. Nesdoly
This is my attempt at a poem for the Poets Online March 2006 prompt “Giving form to death.” It was written to help me process the devastating experience of seeing my husband lose his job, and first published on the Poets Online site.
This republished post from January 2010 is my last tip-of-the-hat to TS Poetry Press’s August exploration of the sonnet. If you’d like to be instructed in and inspired by the form, check out these two excellent articles at Tweetspeak: