For My Sister

Jones, Richard

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Stanford, Ann Folwell
  • Date of entry: Jul-10-1996


A woman plants a plastic Christmas tree and wrapped gifts at the grave of her young son, speaking to him, but knowing the son can't hear her. What she hears are "the whispered words / and the gentle sobbing / that was becoming / a kind of music inside her."


The idea of sobbing as music is intriguing and can help get at the way grief lingers and changes and becomes part of the fabric of the mourner's life. The image of the mother taking gifts to the dead child at Christmas is poignant, but the speaker notes that "these things she did / for herself."

Primary Source

Country of Air: Poems by Richard Jones


Copper Canyon

Place Published

Port Townsend, Wash.