My Old Friend, Grief
by Susan Summers



After a time of constant
focus on the empty places,
and slowly comprehending
the finality of death,
the heartache
subsides.

You cook meals,
take out garbage, do the laundry,
read a good book,
find some new music you like,

and suddenly the rains come and you’ll turn
to say something,
______pick up the phone
__________or think,
“I’ll ask…”

and it comes back-
like when you were seven
fell
flat on your back
no breath
and you wondered had you died

and ten when you
tried to be so polite with
your aunt’s dry roast
stuck
in your throat
and twelve when that mean kid
threw a basketball at your head—
woozy and blinded, you sat straight down.

This rain a flood of memories
of ordinary days like this one
but so brightly lit,
your eyes sting.

After a longer time,
you still find the comforts
and discoveries
and the memories still come
now bringing smiles,
welcome
as an old friend,
coming through the back door
“yoohoo!”





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