Grief

This entry is part 8 of 41 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Autumn 2012

I come from a land where grief is palpable and raw, where ceremony cannot blunt the shapes of sorrow. I come from a land where omens deckle the very curtains, where a yard white with uncharacteristic frost is visitation from some host— For even before they’ve borne the stricken body back to its ancestral home, it’s hitch-hiked through the early morning streets: bringing a gift, a dream, some sign. Everything is portent: a leaf that spirals through the air, a moth or hummingbird that pins itself upon the mantel; mold that blooms in the shape of letters on the sill. The women’s voices shred the hours. Tears mingle with handfuls of sod as the body’s lowered in the earth. Above ground, the men thrust knives into a trembling animal then singe its skin. The smell clings to our clothes for days. We wash our hands by the door-posts then cross the threshold. We wear black for a year, but don’t look back.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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