Far away, someone’s young wife
has died, taking half his life with her.

Her shoes are waiting.  They
would like to go, too—

they sink into a kind of
disgruntled contentment.

The hairbrush still smells
of her hair.  What will be

the first day he does
not hold it up

to his face, for minute
after minute—at some

point, he must lay it down,
lay it down in order to do

something else.  The brush
waits to be of use, not

understanding why he
fails to pull it through

his own hair.  Which, of
course, he cannot do.


About annhumphreys

I travel and teach hoopdance as a movement meditation. Yes, I mean meditative movement with a hula-hoop. The hoop can playfully and gently bring anyone into their embodied center and open the world of dance and creative expression. My greatest joy is to witness this blossoming in my classes and workshops.
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8 Responses to Hairbrush

  1. Alex Romashko says:

    I know a poem is good when I feel its effect within my body before I am able to process its words with my mind. Thank you so much for sharing another little bit of your work with all of us. Would love to see more… peace to you always.

  2. This hits me hard as I think of my sister and her recent loss of her husband. What will it be like for her as she returns to their home? What will she hold onto day after day that reminds her of him, and will there be guilt on the day she does not? Grief is overpowering and does not diminish, just changes with time.

  3. Kx says:

    I hope it doesn’t trivialize your beautiful poem to share that that it reached me in exactly the place that motivates me to smell Yosemite’s collar each night before tucking it back under my pillow and forbid vacuuming in our house so that I can lay on “her spot” on the floor and inhale her while it still lasts.

  4. sunshinesmegan says:

    Reblogged this on sunshinesmegan and commented:
    Very “Jack Gilbert,” if you will. Lovely, simply lovely.

  5. Sati Flow says:

    I can’t get over how much I love this poem, ann

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