Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Grief Is Not Always Practical



Grief is not always practical.

It leaves white, wooden crosses
standing along roads and fast moving highways,
some with fresh plastic flowers, by others
bouquets now sun- faded and disheveled.
All with writings on the hammered strips of wood
illegible when driving by at 60 MPH
even in the slow lane.
Reminders that death is ever present in life,
although difficult to mow around.

It is grief that has placed the
large cardboard box in our dining room
filled with my mother-in-law’s papers,
next to the piano, under the birdcage,
waiting quietly to be filed in manila folders
with headings written in black permanent marker—
“Doctors’ Bills”, “Letters from Lisa”, “Mom’s Old To-Do Lists,”
and grief that collected the fossils and rocks
from my brother’s apartment
to lie in rest dusty on our bookshelves.

It is grief that finds other tasks for me,
distractions and obstacles,
that keeps me from climbing the stairs to the attic floor
and my daughter’s empty bedroom;
her clothes that need to be sorted through and given away,
the scent of her in half-filled perfume bottles on the dresser
and the pillowcases on her bed.

Grief is not always practical.
It is, however, steadfast.

2 comments:

  1. i can really relate to the last stanza..."my daughter's empty bedroom"; and "it is grief that finds other tasks for me" ..."my daughter the scent of her in half-filled perfume bottles on the dresser and the pillowcases on her bed." My daughter is in college this year and i guess i must be going through some sort of grief process and i didn't realize it until i wrote a poem about it just yesterday, which i've entitled 'remember'. such a painful time, isn't it.

    ReplyDelete

Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)