Poetry Friday: Lamenting May

Welcome to Poetry Friday! I am honored (and a little nervous!) to be hosting our gathering this week. In the time I have spent sharing my poems and reading the incredible poetry by everyone who gathers here, I have made many new friends who have inspired me in my writing. My post today has a more somber mood, and I thank you in advance for letting me share my story with you.

I have always looked forward to the month of May with a great deal of anticipation. While the first official day of spring came in March, it really isn’t until May that we begin to see and feel the evidence of spring. The grass finally turns green, an array of fragrant blossoms adorn the trees, and warmer days beckon short sleeves, capris, and sandals.

As I approach May now, my spirit lacks the same enthusiasm. My mother’s birthday is May 1st, with Mother’s Day following not long after. Her death in 2016 was the beginning of my downcast attitude for the month of May. Last year I tried to approach May Day (May 1st) with a celebratory heart, sharing a May Day basket and spreading joy of the spring season with others in my mom’s memory. This helped some, but the ache from her loss remained.

As this May approached, I could feel the familiar sense of sorrow begin to return. This year though, it was a much deeper ache with a greater sense of sadness. On May 25 of last year, my older brother succumbed to an unexpected cardiac arrest while riding his bike in Glacier National Park. The utter devastation from this loss took our family on a journey we were completely unprepared for. Despite our sorrow through the experience, we experienced God’s abundant comfort and grace, believing that he has a greater plan despite our sorrow.

I have found a great deal of comfort in music, specifically worship music. My poem today is a golden shovel. To write a golden shovel poem, the writer chooses a line from another poem, and places each word from that line (in order) as the ending word in each of the lines in a new poem. This reimagining becomes a new poem with new meaning.  Nikki Grimes made the form popular with her book One Last Word.

The line I’ve taken is from a song that has been especially meaningful to me in my journey through grief –  “Is He Worthy?” written by Andrew Peterson and performed by him along with Chris Tomlin. You can listen to the song in its entirety here if you like.

There are unexpected experiences that do
not announce to you
their arrival. I don’t know
when they are coming or that
they will pull all
I am anchored to right out from the
stable ground I am standing on. The dark
overtakes, leaving me believing I won’t
find my way back. Grief feels like it will never stop.
I can’t imagine ever rediscovering the
joy I once felt. Yet You remain, revealing a beacon of light
that gently comforts and continually reminds me that from
the greatest place of loss and the darkest of days, getting
to the other side means walking through
a journey where we
must lean into healing that only You can do.

Mom with brother Don, 2015.

I hope you will join me and the rest of my Poetry Friday friends by sharing a poem or simply reading the poetry from others through the link-up button below. I look forward to hearing from all of you!

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