Anniversary by Susan Markert

It comes
like fog
settling in and over
the day.
A date, a time, a moment
that changed everything.
They did not know
in the produce department at the grocery store
where a mother caught an avalanche of orange peppers
set off by her curious toddler
They did not know
at the stop light
where a car full of teens
waited for the light to change
Or on the boulevard
where a couple argued in a car
over something insignificant
and both felt unappreciated.
The mailman still came
the catalogs glossy
and promising a better life
My mothers red-rimmed eyes
The sound of a wail
as my purse fell
to the floor
Where did it come from?
It was me
I heard
As if watching
from another room
far from the truth telling
The sky looked different after knowing
as my heart shattered
into millions of little pieces
and fell to the ground
shiny and scattered
And I felt as if
I would never stop crying
Does she remember my face
my eyes
before the news?
Did they change
like the sky?
The earth shifted that day
Only some felt it
Still feel it
When the fog moves in.


Susan is my cousin, and lost her father, my uncle Edward Markert, suddenly one morning when he did not wake up.  He was 52, Susan 17.


  1. This poem is so good Susan it says worlds.

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How Dina Aunty relished her memories. Mummy and Daddy were the same, talking about their yesterdays and smiling in that sad-happy way while selecting each picture, each frame from the past, examining it lovingly before it vanished again in the mist. But nobody ever forgot anything, not really, though sometimes they pretended, when it suited them. Memories were permanent. Sorrowful ones remained sad even with the passing of time, yet happy ones could never be re-created—not with the same joy. Remembering bred its own peculiar sorrow. It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness into a source of pain.

> From A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry