“A Friend, Two” by Daniel Woody

a friend

she and i talk as the sun
sets over chicago she

says i think trauma is a gift
not only do i not believe her i

am angry trauma is
not a gift but a weight i

remember whitacre
his song

when david heard absalom was slain he
went into his chamber over the gate he
wept and thus he

said o my son would god i
had died for thee this might be i
think the purest distillation of grief i

have ever encountered
how could grief
from such trauma
the loss of a child

how could in other words
grief be a gift i

have traveled to europe and africa
to escape or to see or to grieve i

think about these things
and david
lately i

think it’s not the trauma perhaps
but the period of grief that follows perhaps
the luxury i

still refuse to call a gift
the grief born of trauma
the luxury enjoyed by the few
of us who have
in other words

who among us is david
who among us can afford
to wail for weeks


This is the second in a series of untitled “Friend poems” by Daniel Woody from a manuscript entitled bless us (who have chosen soul). Read the first here.

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