Grief is a big, sloppy shirt.
It is ill-fitting on me,
oh, that’s a great word, you’d say.
Grief is missing our banter,
hearing your voice, but not
being able to make out what you say.
Grief is drunken, ragey, and frightening.
Grief is vomiting repeatedly,
until I’m scared I’ll
never breathe again.
Grief is purple, striped.
Grief has buttons and no bra.
Grief always wears a pin
on her lapel.
Grief has blue eyes that sparkle,
and doesn’t care
when I make bad metaphors in a poem,
because you’ll never read it.
Grief surges at the sight of daisies,
chokes on sobs at a cardinal
perched on top of your birdhouse–
Yes, the birds are moving in, I’ll say
because I know you’ll want to know.
Grief is a raised glass of pinot noir–
oh, that’s a good choice, you’d cheer.
Grief is your tiny fingers, and neat
nail beds, and a kiss on a cheek
I never knew I’d never see again.
Grief is swans and secrets.
Grief is not being able to read the
ee cummings poem to you.
Grief is missed chances.
Grief is laughing at your messy
handwriting on cards and in books.
It is wanting to believe there is
just a bit more than nothing
because otherwise it is just too much to bear.
Grief is not being able to cook
dinner for my children,
even though I hear you tell me to do just that.
Grief is frustrating my husband,
Grief is wanting to talk about you,
and feeling like I never deserved you,
and wanting to forget you,
and loving you because you were
my champion, and you saw me.
You saw me.
Grief is imagining you,
in your big shirt, as you leave
your body and look around you
with that insatiable curiosity.
I think you look back at it all
maybe just for a second,
and then you smile,
tug at your shirt
and say okay, yeah.
— for my dearest dear, E.