That woman’s two sons died together in a car crash
two teenagers off on their way to work
two straight arrows she said they were
and when she told me tears sprang
as it is so often said right into my eyes.
How did she bear it? I wonder for
I have certainly imagined such a thing
many times when my own sons have
stayed gone longer than seemed
explainable in some other way.
I don’t know how she bore it or how
she bears it now, so many years later.
I hear these stories from strangers
who pass right along through my life
on their way to whatever private
challenges they face, these stories
that live someplace inside me, the
lovely and the terrible making a
kind of fierce patchwork I could
easily hide beneath.