I would have nothing left but particulars

From my first college creative writing teacher, the incredible Maria Hummel. For another heartbreaking piece of hers, check out the poem I posted last year. Heimweh, by the way, is the German word for homesickness.

“Heimweh”

I used to think if I overcame this sadness
I would have nothing left
but particulars, a way of saying
the word mountain, a habit
of carting sweaters everywhere,
and memories of the last day
of winter, its bareness on the wind
and white snow sailing
over the green grass,
burying it with such delicacy
the field will never look
alive again, even when the poppies
and asters, even when the daisies
and cornflowers, even when
the birds of fall
hunt for seeds in the damp
earth, under the shadowed stems.
That kind of nothing
deserves a parade, a marching
band slapping an old bass drum,
trumpets and flutes, and when
I have overcome this sadness
what remains
will fit into the long brass neck of the tuba,
which is always played
simply and badly
to punctuate the passing
of a song.

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