Two Poems by Lisa Zimmerman

Love is Invincible is What I Wrote

in my notebook. However,
it can only go so far
in terms of grief—
running parallel to the river,
kicking up dust, breathing hard,
never stopping to rest.
And the river of grief does not know,
is rushing so fast over stones,
bending its streaming tears
around fallen logs and tree roots—
Why do we pray? Why do we cry?
Love does not stop racing
beside our hurtling anguish,
won’t give up even though it knows
the galloping water is surging
to the sea of all grief. Why do I keep crying?
Love will be there too, not breathless,
not worn down or diminished,
but strong enough to hold
the whole cold ocean of grief
and never be drowned.


Things My Friend Mary Said Years Before She Died

She told me fear was just an acronym
for false evidence appearing real, as in
fabricating a future of tiny failures adding up
to disappointment in advance.
Fear is a lack of information, she said,
an absence—not of faith—but of trust.

Better to trudge the winter field this morning
with the dog, both of us unleashed among the dead
branches blown down from last night’s wind,
my mind empty of anything like knowledge
just a light scarf of sadness drifting behind me
like a broken aura, the white sky crimped
along its edge by mountains.

When my son was a boy he said, Fear is like a door.
I just have to walk through it.
Mary’s not here for me to ask, Who made the door?
And who made the other side?


Lisa Zimmerman’s poetry and fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies including Florida Review, Poet Lore, Hole in the Head Review, and Cave Wall. Her collections include The Light at the Edge of Everything (Anhinga Press), The Hours I Keep, and Sainted (Main Street Rag). She is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Northern Colorado.

3 thoughts on “Two Poems by Lisa Zimmerman

  1. Beautiful, in my anguish I feel more than I can imagine, overcoming me like an overfilled bucket, yet never seeming to stop with an endless the endless flow bathing me. Thank you

  2. Thank you for having such a beautiful friend who asked the questions and defined some definitions. Love comes in so many sizes. And it’s partner grief.

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