In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This month, Claire Schwartz is on the line.
I lost my father suddenly on New Year’s Day. I have lived without him for over a year and a half now, and while I’ve found that my heart is more resilient than I imagined, I’ve started to fear the passing of time. The first of every new month feels like it’s stabbing me with the reminder that time will not slow down. I’m scared for this year to end, because right now I can still claim his death is recent, and it scares me that one day it will be in the distant past. I’m scared that I’ll start forgetting pieces of him, or that I’ll stop thinking about him as much, which would feel like letting him die again. I’m wondering if you can give me a poem about how to accept the passing of time and stop seeing it as the enemy.
A Fearful Daughter