Grief

is a river you wade in until you get to the other side.

But I am here, stuck in the middle, water parting

around my ankles, moving downstream

over the flat rocks. I’m not able to lift a foot,

move on. Instead, I’m going to stay here

in the shallows with my sorrow, nurture it

like a cranky baby, rock it in my arms.

I don’t want it to grow up, go to school, get married.

It’s mine. Yes, the October sunlight wraps me

in its yellow shawl, and the air is sweet

as a golden Tokay. On the other side,

there are apples, grapes, walnuts,

and the rocks are warm from the sun.

But I’m going to stand here,

growing colder, until every inch

of my skin is numb. I can’t cross over.

Then you really will be gone.

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