Inner Passage


48 pages
8.5" x 5.5" single signature with hand sewn binding
Published June 2014

In Karen George’s Inner Passage, her lyrics transform into a narrative that explores the sacred struggle of grief. With deep grace, the author bears witness to the body and soul of her beloved husband as he departs this version of life. Her poems honor the process of letting go and carrying forward. This collection acknowledges the nuance within the experience of being left behind. A reminder of what kind of life was lived after the pain and sweetness of loss.


Side by side in canvas deck chairs,
we cradle words in our palms:
you, A Walk in the Woods;
I, the salve of Li-Young Lee.
The cruise ship pulses beneath us;
above, flags flap 
a staccato against the salt 
air we can taste.

An Asian couple sits near us
in the crook where two benches
converge in a vee.
Knees touching, 
they lean close to talk, 
forming a cave.
On the back of her moss-green kimono
a red dragon devours its own tail. 

I follow the curve of the beast's back,
edged in ebony,
while the flow of foreign syllables 
lulls and impales me.
How I ache to pierce through
all the silences, and wail
Cancer and chemo are eating
my husband alive.