Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.


(candle lit on the anniversary of a death)

your fragile beauty
passed too early from this world
leaving me with only
the memory of your lightness
your slender arms
barely long enough to embrace me,
your slight hips
that bore a daughter so petite
you had to nurse her all night long
to keep her alive

compared to you
I was a lumbering bear
the first time we made love
I thought you’d break in two
under my weight
yet you proved tough as steel
holding friends’ heads
on the ferry to Calais
as they leaned across the rails
coaxing girl scouts
through tight pinches in the caves
wrestling cancer to a draw

you brought animals back to life
sponging away the dog’s mange
fattening the scrawny kittens
the children had found in the woods
you made babies laugh
you squeezed the hands
of immigrant mothers
as they gave birth

if at times I failed
to love you as the others did
please forgive me
we only value fully what we’ve lost
make the yahrzeit candle
quiver with your breath
to let me know you understand
to let me know you’re here
AHArt Heifetz has had 186 poems published in 13 countries. See for more of his work.

Categories: Poetry

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1 reply

  1. Beautiful piece. I’m so sorry for your loss and grateful for the details that bring her so richly alive and vibrant that her love and presence continue through your poem. Thank you.

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