About the Poems
by Jill Alexander Essbaum
This poem was inspired by Simon Armitage’s “To His Lost Lover.”
My poem is one line shorter, in rhymed tercets.
The whole poem sort of builds, swells to that last, creepy stanza.
The genesis of this poem begins in the words of the Requiem Mass, “Timor mortis conturbat me.” The fear of death confounds me. Which it does. Desperately. But there are many kinds of death, just as there are many kinds of love. Sometimes, even, they overlap.
“And if you loved her you should have said it. / And if you said it you ought to have meant it.”
Those two lines hit me closer than perhaps any I have ever written. Except for the last two lines of “Crux.”
This is a religious poem.