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  • Writer's pictureAsha Venkatarao

What Have You Lost?

What Have You Lost? - A Description of Loss, A Poem, An Introspection


I have started reading a book of Collected Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, an American poet and songwriter, based in San Antonio. It has prompted me to do some deeper introspection into Loss, reality, and Life.



Naomi writes "Losing makes us miserable, startles us awake. It's also inevitable. Losing casts all kinds of shadows on what we thought we knew. Is there anything good about losing? Does loss help us discover anything? Maybe, we take better care of what we still have or notice, pay attention"

If you have lost people close to your heart or faced health issues and the loss continues, don't despair. We are all in the same river, finding familiar pieces of Life to hold onto.

A few lines of my own on Loss -


What Have You Lost?

The words speak with an intensity

more than necessary

They seep inside -

I feel the rawness of the question

A movement in the mind

I sit, pensive silence pervades.


What have I lost?

I don't want to hear it,

open it, to the outside world

The pretty package has deep cracks, I know

But well hidden, they remain

I don't want to feel it

I don't want to relive that gap in time


The echoes of words lost, spoken, unspoken

Smiles of presence, connection

Sepia pics of memories past

I know I have lost

But, loss is layered

Always, in all ways

Loss of faith in life's structure

Loss of trust in its unfolding

Pain of falling-into-pieces plans


The inside of one is changed

put back together by band-aids of time

But, it's never the same, is it?

Irreplaceable losses, I live in their shadows

Breaths intertwined with them

Still, I live.

Still, I breathe, sometimes shakily, sometimes deeply

Growing roots again in the present


Moments unfold

Life moves on without a backward glance

I move on too; no options given with holding of sorrow

It becomes one with my daily shadow

Rays of dawn come forth

Maybe there's hope left yet

Just maybe.

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