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I have to agree with Lili and others here, absolutely. The absence of the word is where the crux of this poem's power is housed; with the word, the poem would simply be a listing without much significance; however, with the omission, we are left with a late-coming sorrow.
I'll attempt to articulate how I felt as I read this piece (and perhaps others felt as they did, too):
There is such an unfulfillable longing that happens a split-second after the poem's close; you've dealt with time and intimacy with such delicacy here. Thank you for sharing this piece with us.
I wrote this story, knew it was pretty much perfect, then realised it was strictly speaking five words long and had to talk myself out of ruining it by trying to put another word in. Of course, there is no word that could fit in the space - the absence is the point.
I'm so pleased this story has struck a chord with so many people.
Sadly true. From my experience, it's indeed (partly) because death creates a "hole" in the world—and, consequently, in the meaning of words—that being a widower is such a strange and "unbalanced" state.
Not that I've ever lost a spouse (thank God), but I think that gap is always there. If a widower marries again, he doesn't once again become: wife/husband. He becomes: /husband/wife. A new position has to be forged for the new partner; the gap isn't filled.
I'm a widower and I totally agree. It's a hole that can never be mended, because everyone is unique. The problem is that, because of this gap in the background, one sees any potential partner as a potential loss, too. A double loss, actually: losing touch with the memories of the lost one and being afraid to lose the new person one day...
Not to be too pretentious (^^") but I do think the word's absence gives it a powerful presence in the story. It's not simply that I've chosen to tell a story in five words rather than six - the space has an important part to play. (And thank you for the fave ^^ )
Thank you - I'm pleased you noticed what the theme prompt is ^^ I suppose you wouldn't immediately guess that the theme of this story is "thankfulness" but once you know that, it gives the story an extra poignancy. And thank you for the fave, btw ^^
I think it's like numbers: 123,406 is a six figure number, even though 0 is representing "nothing" - it's saying nothing is there. It feels as though there are six spaces available in this story, and me leaving one space empty is a positive choice. I think the reader is at that point expecting a word, and so the word being missing does, as you say, make the story more powerful. (And thank you for faving...)
Thank you so much ^^ This one did actually start off as a lighthearted celebration of a happy marriage, but I couldn't find the right words to make it work. (From a technical, rather than a poetic, point of view ^^) I really liked the idea of two words making one whole, and having them linked with a "/", and I wanted to keep that part. Then this story popped into my head. And it's far better than my original idea (As always, thanks for the fave... ^^)
I'm rather touched that the story has a personal meaning for you. I've experienced men in my family losing their wives as well - it always seems that it's harder for men to cope with losing a spouse. They seem more vulnerable in this situation. Bit of a generalisation I suppose ^^" Thanks for the fave, btw ^^