When you grieve for yourself-

not pity, you understand, but mourning-

it’s not for old times or missed boats.

There’s one reason only: you find you’ve lost

stillness. Well, not when asleep, you’re still

when asleep. Then again, you’re asleep, so can’t

relish reflecting the peace of a mirror-like lake.

Awake, wind always ruffles your surfaces now.


It’s a bit tiring, yet you’d best

get accustomed to it:

these small spasms that jerk you

about are mere samples,

the buzz of what’s coming,

You can’t be at peace outwardly,

anymore-the way you’re at peace

in your depths now. Better that


than the reverse. Look, you’re in sync:

universe, you, all life

metabolic, ceaseless in motion,

waves, seeds, eggs breaking

open galaxies wheeling,

colliding, suns dying ablaze

cells dividing who needs stillness?

Stillness is death.


No. Even death can’t be still. Death’s alive

with activity, bright putrefescent bacteria.

Compost squirms hot, catabolic.

Stillness not to be found since the big bang

shuddered awake through each vibrating string.

Who are you, then, to mourn? Whitman dared sing

the body electric. Here’s your chance.

Go him one better, dear. Dance.





Photo by Drew Colins on Unsplash

Used by permission of the author.

Robin Morgan

Journalist, editor, activist and child actor, Robin Morgan has been a leader in the feminist movement since the 1960s. Morgan ...more