Posts Tagged ‘grief’




when I was young and read Lord of the Flies,

and when I read the part where Piggy dies,

I screamed out loud, You got it wrong. No!

As if Golding could hear me through the spine.

Perhaps because I also was a geek.

Perhaps because I didn’t want to know

how cruel the world can be. How kids like me

could choose, in fearful times, to kill our friends.


My son detests the book, but not because

the boys are cruel, because it moves too slow.

I try to reconcile his callousness, his good

and tender heart. He’s grown up in an age

where killing is a part of weekly life.

How strange for me to grieve the loss of grief.


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There was a time when I’d pull his hair out

if he sat too close to me on the couch.

Now, I curl into his right side,

lean my head on his shoulder,

feel the trembling of his chest

as he weeps. How good it feels

to be close to him as we grieve.

How familiar, the shape of his head,

the heft of his hand as he reaches for mine.

How deeply right, this leaning

into sorrow together.

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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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