Grief Is Everything and All

My grief is stillborn, not consoled by the hope

of replacement of another good little boy or girl

with brown paws and a gentle lick,

another Anne or Tom with eyes that cry of heaven

and a bright mind that can write lines of cerulean clarity

or calculate pi to the twentieth decimal,

a wife named All or a husband named Trust,

a mother named Everything who can feel ,

understand the 10,000 aches of my soul,

or a father named Generosity who is there

for every birth, graduation and funeral.

Everything and All that is trusting

and generous can never be replaced.

My grief is a suicide that can’t be understood

by the generous and trusting,

everything that has come before

and everything that will happen since.

My grief is not yours and yours is not mine.

I can’t share it with you, only bear it.

All we have in common is tears

that fill a cup of pain and enough salt

to line a Margarita glass, the next

bunch of circular steps till the watch stops

and someone opts us for ash or six feet under.

You cant understand anything of my grief

until you have lost your Everything and All.

My grief is space, a dark, long, lonely void,

like a lost astronaut spiraling away from earth.

There is no consolation in the idea

that at least he won’t be suffering for long,

that God won’t give him more than he can bare

and then some. He doesn’t care that he has all space

to feel the slow asphyxiation that comes

with the release of gravity. His parents will

still be earthbound, feeling the heavy loss,

forever looking up and wondering

why the sky took their joy away.

The world will let them cry just

as I cry for his floating away.

Tell me a story when I grieve and cry.

For I am a poet and need the comfort of words.

For I need the art that lives and can be passed around.

For I need to know what you don’t know.

For I need to show Everything and All.

For I need to imagine everything you can’t.

For I need the action of your kindness and time.

Grant me your generosity and trust.

Grant me the power of your pardon,

the grace of an honest look,

the sincere utterance of I’m sorry,

for when you lack the words

I know all the generous, trusting, healing ones.