Elizabeth Hazen
The Bereaved

I’ve grown so still, so scared and scarce as those
lost years when I was ill. The doctors say

I’m healthy now. I eat three squares and then some.
I haven’t had a drink in months, in years,

in decades. Time, you know, is relative.
Even St. Augustine lived in anxious

distraction, fingering beads of his rosary
just as I twist knots in my own hair. It was doubt

that first defined existence. Time itself
makes no assertion. Loss hits hardest, without

warning: notes in the margins of a book,
the careless loop of his Ls. Defeated by

forgetting, I can’t help but ask myself
if he was the one spared. That is the darkest

moment; then the thought is gone like exhaled