Tuesday, March 15, 2011

i cannot save you

by Michael Konomos

i cannot save you,
but i will not look away.
or cover my ears.
part of me dies with you
but that is how i will remember.

our lives on the scales
we weigh the same.
i will carry this weight
and walk through the black
though we cannot walk together.

they will wonder why
i chose this way.
it is because you could not.

I [Michael Konomos] wrote this after seeing a story about a man that lost his whole family in the Japanese tsunami but somehow survived (if it can be called surviving), and another woman that lost her daughter but was able to survive holding onto a mat that floated by. I think of the countless people who were washed away and whose meaningful lives are just part of a body count now. It also makes me think about all of the other tragedies we have seen in recent years. We all wrestle inside about how to deal with them, whether or not to even watch or read about them, because it feels like too much. It's easy to numb out, especially when it feels like there is nothing we can do. Sometimes it feels like the best gift I can give, as pitiful and useless as it is, is to care and to remember. It doesn't make much sense to people, and maybe it is foolishly melancholic, but somehow it feels right to me.

* * *

Although written as a response to the recent tragedy in Japan, this poem speaks a truth that is universal...It is never useless or foolish to walk with those who grieve...to remember those who suffer such loss...to feel the weight of the tragedies of our fellow man...it feels right because it is right...


Chrissy Bruso said...

Such profound words; thank you for posting this, Melissa. Please tell Mike thank you from me as well. I wholeheartedly agree that the best gift one can give to another who is grieving is to walk with them, hold the silence with them, and not try to speak away the pain.

Yoli said...

Deeply touching and beautifully expressed.

Carolyn said...

Beautiful words. My prayers for those tsunami victims.
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