Something Always Comes Along by Libby Bernardin

Something Always Comes Along

                            In memory of James Longenbach
                            and after his “Barcarolle”

              I am eating eggs with provolone cheese
when Jim steps into a cloud, after writing
that Matthew Arnold speaks of passive suffering.

I’m bewildered—passive: How can that be?

He’s in Sicily with the gods eating goat cheese,
and drinking new wine pondering the word,
though I know he too is struggling.

Something always comes along when we grieve:

Chopin wafting from a river awakening
him with what it means to be alive—such little
gestures that fall from hands, fingers, a mouth.

Or this morning, out my bedroom window, a tree
gilded by sun’s heart—artistic, blinding
until this snatch of ephemeral dazzlement dims

and I am left with a pale slice of life from the God
of all things, suffering—flame of summation,
satisfactory passage—
                                                        brilliant yielding.


Libby Bernardin is the author of House in Need of Mooring (2022) and Stones Ripe for Sowing (2018) both from Press 53. She has published two chapbooks and contributed to many journals. She has won poetry awards from the Poetry Society of SC and the NC poetry Society, and is a member of both poetry societies. She is a lifetime member of the Board of Governors of the South Carolina Academy of Authors.

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