Grief is this long lost relative that comes to stay.
She arrives unannounced and you stand helpless
as she carries in bag after bag.
She tells you, her voice thick (does she have bad adenoids
that she won't be here too long
and she hopes you won't be inconvenienced but
well, she simply had no other choice
and by the way if it isn't too much bother
could she put her kefir somewhere in your fridge?
Days go by and she is still here.
Still sitting in your favourite chair,
rummaging through your bookshelves
and pacing the halls at night.
What is she looking for?
Why does she leave her tissues balled up in the corner
of your sofa?
Why won't she go?
One day you wake up and you can't hear her.
She's not giving your bathroom a good clean
and she doesn't seem to be in the kitchen or even
out on the deck.
You sigh and relax into your body
like it is a home you'd long forgotten.
You hum a bit - something by Gershwin or
You inhabit your home, your body in an old
You whistle, even though you can't
(let's just say you can
for this poem, OK?)
You whistle down the hall and
go into the guest room to open the window.
You want the smell of vicks and juicy fruit and
orlon sweaters gone gone gone.
But there she is
lying in a comma
on the bed
weeping her weird little heart out.
At first you want to kill the bitch
but you don't.
Instead you slide your shoes off and lie down
on the bed
beside your grief.
You put your arm around her
and finally welcome her home.