February 04, 2007|By Ted Kooser | Ted Kooser,Special to the Sun

Grief can endure a long, long time. A deep loss is very reluctant to let us set it aside, to push it into a corner of memory. Here the Arkansas poet Andrea Hollander Budy gives us a look at one family's adjustment to a death.

- Ted Kooser

?For Weeks After the Funeral?

The house felt like the opera,

the audience in their seats, hushed, ready,

but the cast not yet arrived.

And if I said anything

to try to appease the anxious air, my words

would hang alone like the single chandelier

waiting to dim the auditorium, but still

too huge, too prominent, too bright, its light

announcing only itself, bringing more

emptiness into the emptiness.

Ted Kooser was U.S. poet laureate, 2004-2006. Copyright 2006 by Andrea Hollander Budy. Reprinted by permission of the author and Autumn House Press. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

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