Dear Almost is a book-length poem addressed to an unborn child lost in miscarriage. Beginning with the hope and promise of springtime, poet Matthew Thorburn traces the course of a year with sections set in each of the four seasons. Part book of days, part meditative prayer, part travelogue, the poem details a would-be father’s wanderings through the figurative landscapes of memory and imagination as well as the literal landscapes of the Bronx, Shanghai, suburban New Jersey, and the Japanese island of Miyajima.
As the speaker navigates his days, he attempts to show his unborn daughter “what life is like / here where you ought to be / with us, but aren’t.” His experiences recall other deaths and uncover the different ways we remember and forget. Grief forces him to consider a question he never imagined asking: how do you mourn for someone you loved but never truly knew, never met or saw? In candid, meditative verse Dear Almost seeks to resolve this painful question, honoring the memory of a child who both was and wasn’t there.
MATTHEW THORBURN is the author of six collections of poetry, including This Time Tomorrow and Every Possible Blue. He lives in New York City, where he works in corporate communications.
Praise for Dear Almost
“A book-length poem that is clear, yet nuanced and subtle in its use of imagery and implied metaphor, compassionate and graceful in its grief, and marvelous in its myriad of arrangements and structures. . . . Dear Almost displays disarming courage that I hope can be contagious.”—StorySouth
Found an Error? Tell us about it.