The Art of Longing

Those of us who have driven

the long cold road alone

have watched the thin line

of trees, frosted white,

slipping behind

like memories.

We know the pull

of something unseen

beyond the reach of dry eyes,

fixed, blinking

at the distant mist.

We ride the road

with our lonely ghosts,

unwavering in their devotion

like penitents at the altar

of our grief.

This is how we perfect

the art of longing,

learn to nurse the hurt,

refuse the fullness

of this world.

For now, we keep driving,

lean into the dimming light,

lean further toward

winter’s receding horizon,

and away from arrival.

— Robert A. Neimeyer

To purchase Dr. Neimeyer’s books of poetry or find out more about his work, visit .

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Robert Neimeyer

Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology, University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Neimeyer has published 25 books, including Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice, and serves as Editor of the journal Death Studies. The author of over 350 articles and book chapters and a frequent workshop presenter, he is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process.

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