Today's poem is by Carl Dennis

To Orpheus

Even now, when accepting loss is considered
The only way to move through the five-step sequence
From grief to recovery, someone should praise
Your endeavor, however doomed, to fetch your bride
Back from the underworld, as if death
Hadn't spoken the last word on the subject.
And someone should praise your preference,
Afterward, for solitude over society,
Your refusal, after months of lamentation,
To choose one of the ardent Thracian women
Who offered themselves as a substitute,
Who explained to you that Eurydice
Would never find her way back to the light,
However long her place stayed empty.

Stay with the program, the Thracians urged.
Accept the message that life moves on,
That those who try can learn to move with it.
But someone should praise your silent refusal
To join the caravan of one thing after another
Clattering by on the street outside.
There go the ox carts and horse-drawn wagons,
The flat-bed trucks, the moving vans.
What's the point of ending up at a place
That Eurydice isn't going to visit,
A place she might have enjoyed
If she'd been offered the chance
She wasn't offered,
One of the many that were her due?

Copyright © 2016 Carl Dennis All rights reserved
from Green Mountains Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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