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

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

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Be in Front of All Parting
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                          Be in front of all parting, as though it were already
                          behind you, like the winter just gone by.
                                                –Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus
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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.
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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.
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The parting was to come, but
there was nothing beyond your face
in hers in the mirror,
one cheek printed with roses.
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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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