#14: The Corner of Absence, by Lynne Kuderko
About the Author
Lynne Kuderko received her MFA from Vermont College and has published poems in many literary magazines, including Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, Passages North, and Ascent. She is a recipient of Illinois Arts Council Fellowships and Awards and was featured on the Chicago Dial-A-Poem series for several years. Kuderko has also produced a medical talk-show for radio.
About the Chapbook
"In twentieth-century poetry, discerning readers have always paid close attention to chapbooks, for it is often in the pages of those concentrated volumes that one finds the true work, the harbinger of great things to come. So it is with Lynne Kuderko's The Corner of Absence. These poems are direct and clear, evocative and emotionally complete, exciting antidotes to the poetics of superficiality that mars the verse of many of our better known authors." —Robert McDowell, Story Line Press
From the Chapbook
The Corner of Absence
- for R.L.K.
Across the street, a Mountain Ash
shakes off its leaves. The months
accumulate: September; October. The moon
in its slow walk turns the corner
and is gone.
Yesterday I watched
a sailboat head out to sea and a gull appearing,
disappearing in the mirror of a wave. How hard
to see one thing, not think another—
yes anticipating no, darkness folding its cloth
over light, birth reaching small arms
In ancient Greek the words
"going" and "coming" were the same.
But I hadn't heard absence until I heard
the women of Greece struggling
despair, one ebbing wail of loss
the beginning of another, grief riding
the waves of their breath—
where every woman over eighteen
Maybe one hasn't loved enough
if absence is not an unbearable weight
dragged through all the houses of life
and loss is a seed dropped
from a pocket on a casual walk.
Who hasn't lingered
in grief's three rooms—
the pitched cry of protest, despair's solemn bed,
then detachment—that battered suitcase carried home?