What Loss Means

Just as the last leaves on branches
in autumn fail to cast shade, so
the words we cast to fill the silence

Autumn_leaf_on_branch

left by one we loved never are enough.
No words are. Though a few hang in

the silence to fill a slice of absence.
Like any sound, words will
break the spell silence casts,

for a little time. And even
sometimes over again.

Words may stir the afternoon,
words forming in wan light, and
the dust motes might fall

into meaning. Words may
soothe the night’s stark quiet.

And so we carry words,
in our minds, in our hearts,
to fill the vast silence of

what it means to be alive,
which is what loss means.

About the Author

David Breeden

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden is senior minister of First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has written several books on theological topics and translates the writings of philosophers of classical antiquity.

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