Something Always Comes Along

     In memory of James Longenbach
                            and after his “Barcarolle”

              I am eating eggs with provolone cheese
when Jim steps into a cloud, after writing
that Matthew Arnold speaks of passive suffering.

I’m bewildered—passive: How can that be?

He’s in Sicily with the gods eating goat cheese,
and drinking new wine pondering the word,
though I know he too is struggling.

Something always comes along when we grieve:

Chopin wafting from a river awakening
him with what it means to be alive—such little
gestures that fall from hands, fingers, a mouth.

Or this morning, out my bedroom window, a tree
gilded by sun’s heart—artistic, blinding
until this snatch of ephemeral dazzlement dims

and I am left with a pale slice of life from the God
of all things, suffering—flame of summation,
satisfactory passage—
                                                        brilliant yielding.


Poem by Libby Bernardin