Once introduced to us, it moves in
Is feral grip crippling
for months, maybe years.
Eventually, it settles,
nestling into the coils of our soft, darkest parts
Flexible, it goes to parties with us, helps us fix that broken hinge,
scrubs the mush of winter from our favorite shoes, shaves us
in the morning, pulls the shade down at night.
Its domestication complete,
Grief is forgivable then,
almost worthy of tenderness.
This, we think, is how it is.
How it will be.
Then Grief sees itself in stranger’s face,
hears sorrow pulse in another’s voice and
springs from our solar plexus. Bone break.
A beast, again.
Once we have suffered a deep grief we are never the same. And the difference is not only our capacity to experience grief that is changed but the depths of our empathy and the startling, sudden way that the grief of others can awaken our own again and for a moment make it move.