dVerse Poets Pub Anniversary – Best Poem?

dVerse Poets Pub is celebrating its first anniversary this week and asks all participating poets (a group which includes lucky me) to link up what they feel was their best poem posted to dVerse over the past year.

Figuring out one’s best poem is always tricky.  I don’t know if this one is “best”, but it is a poem that is close to my heart.  It was written for a very good friend of mine, approximately two years ago, in the couple of weeks before her death from breast cancer.   She had expressed to me her concern for her children, and I wrote the poem based upon her words.

The poem is a pantoum – a form with repeating lines.  And punctuation (sigh) is a fairly important element.  I may not have punctuated right, so I recommend listening to the recording really more than reading.  It is a pretty simple poem to follow.

Thanks so much!  And thanks to dVerse Poets – Brian Miller and Claudia Schoenfeld, especially.


The Last Thing – Mother to Child

The Last Thing –  Mother To Child

For Rhona Saffer
Know, that
when I must go,
I will love you
just the same.

When I must go,
I know it will not feel
just the same.
There will be cool air—

I know it will not feel
like my lips—
but there will be cool air
caressing your face

like my lips,
while your smile only,
caressing your face
(oh reflection of mine),

will be your smile only.
I never wanted to cause you pain,
oh reflection of mine.
That was the last thing

I ever wanted to cause you–pain.
No, I would love you—
that was the last thing.
Just the same,

know, I would love you,
will love you,
just the same.
Know that.



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27 Comments on “dVerse Poets Pub Anniversary – Best Poem?”

  1. Karin Wiberg Says:

    Gorgeous and heartbreaking, Karin. Took my breath away…

  2. brian miller Says:

    smiles…love the reassurance of love at the end…def like listening as well to your voice…the repetition works well in this as well…thank you for a great year k!

  3. So rending and like laughter through the tears of deep grief, inspiring as well. Truly beautiful.

  4. ds Says:

    So beautiful, so poignant. You read wonderfully also. Thank you.

  5. kaykuala Says:

    It’s a determination of love that is important. Done in repeats make it all the more sweeter, K!


  6. Love it K ~ The refraining lines were very good ~

  7. Ravenblack Says:

    Good stuff. This form really works with this message of love, a mother emphasizing to her child. Touching and comforting. And I feel a bit watery eyed now.

  8. janehewey Says:

    the cool air, lips, smile. love staggers across this page. beautiful, Karin.

  9. Claudia Says:

    so tough…when my kids were small i was in hospital and they thought i had cancer..was going through a rough time..luckily it was not but can really feel her emotions in this…. and k.. thanks so much for all that you do at dVerse – it’s great having you on the team

  10. cmiller19095 Says:

    Your poem is so wonderfully sweet in tone and content. You a sadness but it comes thru with an eternal quality that’s true of the best love poems. I would reread this for its poetry as well as its emotional power. Simply lovely.

  11. Oh, Lord, this made me tear up. So moving and so very, very beautiful. Very well and smoothly written.

  12. Deeply touching, Karin. I like the simplicity you chose to express these feelings and wishes.

  13. Susan Says:

    I listened. The repetition is exactly the point, isn’t it? It works so well! I still hear the echoes and I am thinking of those I have lost. So sweet, and so giving. Thank you.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Susan. The poem is a pantoum, which is a form of interlocking repeating lines – the second and fourth of each stanza become the first and third of the next stanza, and the first and third of the overall poem become reversed as the second and last of the last stanza. I think I have one extra repetition here. It’s kind of a complicated form, but very interesting. k.

  14. Patricia Chenayi Nyandoro Says:

    True love , so true…

  15. This is so beautiful. It reads effortlessly, which is the skill of your construction. A true and sweet statement. I like this a lot.

  16. Jody Collins Says:

    Karin–I was so wondering what you’d pick as your ‘best’. i hadn’t ever read this one. so very beautiful….

  17. Gay Says:

    This is a beautiful elegy. The pantoum disappears into the essence of going, of trying to say goodbye, into the importance that love binds across the veil. Kudos!

  18. aprille Says:

    Karin, this is so well done.
    I tried to write one a while back and after struggling with charts and diagrams to get the format right, it had no coherence in meaning and sequence.
    Yours just reads like a poem, without the pantoum form interfering. It works as a greek chorus with varied interpretations for the replaced lines. I take my hat off.

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