From the collection And Don’t Come Back, 2021.


First you stand
face blank
hands that tremble
Next you rail against
the color of the rain
the noise the air makes
the feel of the dust on your hands
anything anything anything
Hoarse voice. Raw throat.
People say you are
screeching crazy angry
They avoid you.
Exhausted. Wrung-out.
Drained dry.
You begin see the idea of what
you are wearing yourself out with
but you are not ready
to give it its room
you cannot move to
get out of its way
Everything is gray.
Everything blurs. It all crosses lines. It all is
tangled thread.

Until one day
and there is a difference.
The paleness
on the inside of your head
pinks up just that little. Maybe
you read a letter. Maybe you
sew ties on an apron. Boil an egg.
Find a beetle under a leaf
and let it go. Buy a magazine.
Clip threads from a fraying cuff.
You wash
the sheets
you remake the bed
that you lie in

You buy a pair of shoes for winter.
Because winter has come. Because now
you have become ready
to meet it.

3 thoughts on “Passage

  1. I think you do a powerful job of communicating the rawness of an anguishing emotion. My own life experiences mean I immediately think of grief and the way the immediate searing pain evolves over time.

    • Thank you. I feel this poem expresses for me how I have felt in several life altering situations. Adjusting to the new and the diminished, and then finding a way. All losses produce grief, I think you’re right, this is a grief portrait.

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