You’re right. There is no reason
for all this suffering.
The heart closes up just to hear it,
but not quickly enough, and not completely.
What leaks out is not compassion, not terror,
but rage, deep and powerful, and acid as the rain.
We drove the six hours in the rain,
your father reading road signs for no reason
except to keep his mind from the terror
of one more child lost, and the suffering,
the suffering, which threatens to completely
enfold your family in its gripas if it
Could reach across miles and years, as if it
had the power, like Regan’s rain
to corrode everything it touches, turning it completely,
and for no reason
into a landscape of suffering.
We’ve gone beyond terror.
The third death blocks out terror.
Grief makes it
irrelevant. How much suffering
for this family? How much rain
will fall into this yard, and for what reason?
The ground is soaked completely.
In life, nothing ends completely
we bring with us our own terror,
and make of things our own reason.
For me to speak of it,
as though I know why that rain
has fallen, demeans your suffering
But your suffering is my suffering
No, not in the same way completely
but still the same rain
falls on us both, still the same terror
and my heart closes up just to speak of it
I lose my reason.
Into every life falls rain; but so much suffering
denies reason. To comprehend it completely
inspires terror, because no God would allow it.
June 2003, July 2003, August 2003