Why didn’t you do something?
When I needed you, were you there?
Was I not the only thing,
that of all things, you could not spare?
Did it matter that I was gone?
Did my absence cause concern?
Did you call for me; and there upon,
did you hope for my return?
Where was I, when you thought of me?
Was I front or back of mind?
Did you think that I would ever be
in a place that you could find?
. Where was I? … scratched upon a wall,
. I was here! … in no place at all.
© Tim Grace, 26 June 2011
To the reader: To be absent is not the same as missing; for missing is akin to lost. Absence creates an emptiness that can be explained but not always with understanding; never with satisfaction. Through absence we meet a measureless void. The comprehension of absence is poignant; with recognition comes a reminder of what was once more fulsome. Absence leaves a yearning; missing leaves a space.
To the poet: Eight questions… not an answer to be found. That’s the point. That’s absence. The structure of a poem builds around its theme. A poignant theme will be overwhelmed by too much structure; it will lose it tentative unsurity. The strong statement of “I was here!” bares the heavier load of “Where was I?” … I wasn’t lost or missing; I wasn’t gone …I was absent …and did you care?