Posts Tagged ‘grief’




We stand in the field.

I swallow any words

that might try to fix things.

Some things cannot be fixed.

Instead, we say the words

that make us weep.

Grief stands with us then,

and holds us

with absolute tenderness,

its arms impossibly kind.

It starts to rain.

We do not move to leave.

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Before the sadness comes the shock,

like snow falling on sunflowers,

like nightfall at noon. And then

the tears catch up. And then

the wondering, What could I have done?

The urge to hold her now that I cannot.

The ache to hold her daughter, to hold

her son the way that she once held

my children when they were young.

What is there to do now but cradle

each other, to cry, to recover, and again

to shudder, to cry. To say to each other

that this day it hurts to be alive.

To notice that despite grief,

the larkspur are in full blue.

The river curls notes around the rocks.

The bees immerse their bodies

in snapdragon blooms.

How it’s never been more important

to know this—that the world

is beautiful. That even as we’re held

by tragedy, here is tenderness.

Here, always waiting to be opened,

the invitation to love.


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One Eventual




walking the dark alley of grief

afraid of what I might find—


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Stages of Grief


We sat in the round

and rubbed our stories

like prayer beads that

we’ve kept,


but one man let

the world erode him—

so naked, so sacred

he wept.

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Two Reconciliations

I tugged on the thread
of grief not knowing how
completely it had tangled
with all the other threads,
how without it
there was no cloth.


Here, darling,
I cannot say
the words for you,
but I will listen
for the unspeakable
whether you say
the words
or not.

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The locked gate, opened.
The ex-girlfriend in the closet.
The indifferent swimming pool.
I scour news reports
from CBS, The Denver Post, the Vallarta Opina,
looking for a different story,
a different detail,
a different end.
They say the same.
The boy’s body lifeless
in the pool.
There is more.
It does not help
to see the man’s picture.
His bruised cheek, his black eye,
his gaze averted.
I imagine how he, too,
was a boy.
How he, too,
must have had dreams.
How he, too,
must have smelled
the sea in the air.
All day I think
of the mothers.
All day I think
of the sons.

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—time is a tree(this life one leaf)
but love is the sky and i am for you
just so long and long enough
–e.e. cummings

At dinner, the boy says
in a matter of fact kind of way
Did you know that one day

the sun will burn out?
Yes, says the dad, and
the little girl, starts to cry.

That means there will
be no more mornings,
she says. Oh sweetheart,

that’s true, says the mom.
But it will not happen
for a long, long time,

long after you are gone.
This is no comfort
to the weeping one,

who, between bites
of cucumber and rice,
is tasting the loss of light,

the end of warmth,
this life only so long.
Outside, three leaves

fall, golden and full
of sun, but she does not
notice them.

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the unending, haiku

part dishwater, part
wine, this shared chalice of grief
and hallelujah

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Tanka for Grief

Nothing, nothing, nothing
will take away
the loss.Still,
how I hate coming to you
with nothing.

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for my father-in-law

I do not know how to remember him—
his bluster, thunder, warmth, his glassy sea.
He was like weather, changing all the time.

Like two words that almost, but do not rhyme,
that’s how we loved. We’d try, but seldom met.
I do not know how to remember him.

I’d hide a bit each time that he’d come in,
unsure if he would snarl or want to please.
He was like weather, changing all the time.

Drought. Flood. The rain with softest hands
that turns to hail. A mist that’s miles deep.
I do not know how to remember him.

White out. And the blue sky after. Wind
that breaks the limbs. And docile morning breeze.
He was like weather, changing all the time.

The memories rearrange like leaves in autumn.
What is this urge to want to rake them neat?
I do not know how to remember him.
He was like weather, changing all the time.

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