In this house grief dwells,
An unwanted boarder that follows me
As I turn on lamps to chase away the lingering night
I feel its breath upon my neck, its long fingers clutching
While I wash the breakfast dishes and clear the kitchen, memories
Stick like yesterday’s words, like a song I heard in 1970, Like the moment you were born,
Like your little fingers circling mine.
It watches as I sweep the floors,
Put away books and papers and pictures
And start the day’s laundry. Grief is in no hurry;
It can bide its time and wait to strike when some little thing,
A button, a photo, the cutting board you made when you were seventeen
Tears an opening in my defenses.
In darkness I draw the covers over my mind
And flip the pages of the photo album of your too-short life,
The recording of your voice, the unending video of your death in snow and ice
I replay over and over and over.
Grief does not sleep, it is never tired
Or weary of its singular pursuit. It will be here as long
As I draw breath, as long as my heart knows you and remembers,
As long as time.
Here is where grief lives;
There is nothing that can be done about it.
It is, and that is all.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.