Managing grief

bridgeI’ve been reading Paradise Drive, a book of sonnets by Becky Foust. I heard her read this one the other day–she said she had taken the words from the elegy of a woman she knew who committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. She rearranged and fractured them. The disjointed result gives a sense of abandonment.

Anastrophe Elegy

Not the woman we all knew. No.
Never would have done she, like this a thing.
How could someone, her, like that ever do?
Knew we the girl: hurdler varsity,
date cute. Sport good. Track quit who
then school to pay rent; for endless hours
tutor of physics; to his M.D,
M.R.S., de Young docent, mother,
cub scout master mistress of,
bleacher-sitter, coach. The Giver,
unabridged version of. Middle-aged sprinter,
than ever faster. Lover, a lesion seeping like
after he left her. Empty was found there.
It, at the bridge ramp, still running. The car.

Rebecca Foust, first appeared in Cincinnati Review

The poem has a companion piece called “The Bridge,” which you can read if you get the book.

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3 Responses to Managing grief

  1. simone treacy croft says:

    Really great poem. I felt all of it and I am still falling.

  2. Gina says:

    I love the fragmentation and whirling feeling of this poem.
    It’s sad and beautiful.

  3. Meryl Natchez says:

    Someone said something about the thought of suicide sustaining many a sensitive soul through the night…

    The leap itself a bit different.

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