Be in Front of All Parting by J.C. Todd

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Be in Front of All Parting
                          Be in front of all parting, as though it were already
                          behind you, like the winter just gone by.
                                                –Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus
When you told me, I wept
on the sofa whose flowered
brocade pressed into my cheek
and replayed Johnny Mathis
singing “When Sunny Gets Blue”
until my roommate lifted
the needle from the vinyl.
Now I have seen more winters
pass than you did, yet a line
from Rilke returns me to
that girl beoming motherless,
grieving for herself, unable
to imagine you living
with pain she could not bear.
The parting was to come, but
there was nothing beyond your face
in hers in the mirror,
one cheek printed with roses.
Todd, JC
J. C. Todd is author of five books of poetry, including Beyond Repair, forthcoming in September 2021 as a special selection in the Able Muse Press contest, and The Damages of Morning, a 2019 Eric Hoffer Award finalist. Winner of the Rita Dove Prize in Poetry and twice a finalist for Poetry Society of America annual awards, she has held fellowships from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts among others. Her work has been published in the American Poetry Review, Baltimore Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Paris Review and elsewhere.

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