The Thing Is

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

Poem by

Ellen Bass

image via weheartit

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  1. #1 by Julie on September 24, 2011 - 5:01 pm


  2. #2 by Amanda on September 24, 2011 - 6:58 pm

    Accepting – let alone loving – life is a huge challenge in the face of overwhelming grief. Thanks for sharing this honest, inspiring poem!

  3. #3 by on September 25, 2011 - 8:33 am

    So sweet and poetic. I actually was cupping my hands as I read this imagining a little face of life! Thanks Jay jay jay.

  4. #4 by mcsan on September 28, 2011 - 5:59 pm

    Nice poem, it’s so inspiring XD

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