“Let Me Down Easy” by Cynthia Jobin

Let me down easy

the way hints of winter
fall exquisitely today
scattering icy lacy flowers
from a cloud bouquet

flutter, waver just a bit
unhurried and unworried
to get on with it.

A deeper cold will come
but stay its harder hand
let play a little longer
the november grey indefinites

let me down easy.

The longest night is still ahead
weighs heavy in the apprehension
threatening dismay

let me go haltingly into its
frozen moonlit desolation
tempered by the touch of
something of its opposite

knowing I am anyway
to be let down, I pray

let me down easy.


I have been thinking of finding a Christmas poem but in today’s political climate they all seem too naive, or too angry, or too sarcastic.  I want to write about a poet I knew.  She posted this poem precisely two weeks before she died.  You can find more of her wonderful poetry at her blog, which I hope will remain on-line:


We had exchanged letters for about a decade.  And she was the only person who welcomed discussions of death, loss, illness, decrepitude.  I hope I helped to console her a bit for the inconsolable as she helped me.   When she wrote to me that she had just been diagnosed with cancer on Nov. 23rd I was dumbstruck.  I sent her Hamlet’s lines about the providence in the fall of a sparrow.  That “readiness is all” and she wrote back to me:  “I think I am ready.  It is like coming to the end of a long and arduous day, feeling totally spent and desiring nothing more than blessed, blessed sleep.”

But I don’t know that she was “let down easy”.  There are some losses that are irrevocable ones.

I have the human propensity to look for replacements in life:  new cats, new crockery, new congressmen to support (or to despise).  But there comes a time when there are no replacements:  there will never be spaces and faces and voices like those I have lost.  Cynthia helped me to realize that there is an intolerable finality beyond the grave and also that the only finality must be carried in the memories and words of those we have cherished.   So I repeat  her words here.

She has one volume of poetry published and there is hope that there will be a second, posthumous book.


Author: Gubbinal

Bookish, tea-drinking cat-lady who loves great poetry and music and is in the midst of dying

3 thoughts on ““Let Me Down Easy” by Cynthia Jobin”

  1. Your ‘propensity’ to replace things is human enough. But as you have put poetically, “there will never be spaces and faces and voices like those I have lost.” The closing lines where you recall your musings with Cynthia about the ‘intolerable finality beyond the grave’ make me speechless. We must learn to live in the ‘rearranged world’ with each parting.

    Liked by 1 person

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