Welcome to Poetically Yours, where you'll hear the voices of Illinois poets as they share their words about the world around them. This week features Paula Morhardt. Her poem is called, "Forever Goes On."
Forever Goes On
Just when I think I am coming to a good resolution,
I find something of yours.
Today it was a shirt that hadn’t yet been washed,
and it smelled like you.
The wave came crashing down,
and I fell to the floor,
wiped off my feet.
I hold it close,
I can hardly breathe, the pain is so great.
How can one person hold this much grief, I wonder.
How can one human body contain this pain?
And then I realize one body cannot, and I open my mouth,
Letting the pain out in stops and starts,
Gasping for air in between,
Keening my pain,
wailing my grief,
Sobbing my confusion.
Later, I lie on the floor,
exhausted by the fight to keep my sanity
Amidst all the dread in my life,
the panic that overwhelms.
I pull myself up,
clutching your shirt,
My nose buried deep,
tears still streaming down my face.
I place your shirt on my pillow,
waiting for me tonight,
So, my dreams will be of you,
next to me,
Knowing it will make the morning harder,
But not caring,
not right now,
not this moment.
This moment is missing you, and it goes on
Paula Morhardt started writing when she was a child. She’s had poems published in various small magazines but in 2017, her life changed.
On the morning of Nov. 14, Morhardt found her husband of 42 years dead in his chair. He died in his sleep, and she suddenly found herself a widow and living on her own for the first time.
Her mother passed away the next day. Morhardt blogged, “I have lost my two best friends. I cannot call Mom and cry about losing my husband, and neither can I feel his arms around me and his voice rumble in his chest while I cry about Mom.”
In 2019, Morhardt self-published with Amazon and, “Widow’s Walk: How My World Ended And What Happened After” was released to the world. Her moment of greatest despair became her moment of saving grace. She has since had two poetry books published and expects two more to be published this fall.
Morhardt spends each day learning how to live as a widow. She has vegetable and flower gardens, and a fruit orchard.
Morhardt spends as much time as possible with her five grandchildren, and her beloved calico rescue cats. In her spare time, she quilts, sews, and works on her scroll saw.