Slice of Life: Her Name is Grief

I'm working on writing these days, partly because it is a way to deal with the stuff going on in the backdrop of my life, and partly because I just want to see if I can do it. I am so thankful to the SOL community for letting me read your work, and for your kind support of mine. I especially appreciate Two Writing Teachers for hosting this weekly event.
The beginning words for this poem scrabbled their way out of me on one of my car rides home from visiting Mom in palliative care. Grief comes and goes whenever it feels like it. My everyday life is loaded with emotional landmines. Grief sucker punches me when I least expect it, and can overwhelm me even when I do. On Saturday we had a memorial service for Mom at the assisted living home where she spent her last few years. Mother's Day brought it's own trauma. Now I'm in the midst of preparing for the Catholic funeral and internment next weekend in our home town. It feels like a fitting time to share this one, even if I'm not sure it, or I am ready.


Her Name is Grief

My mistress brings me gifts,
holds me in her arms,
murmurs into my ear,
you belong to me.

I have no claim on her.
Her infidelity is legion.
Countless others 
play the role of her concubine,
yet she is a jealous lover.

Escape is impossible
Respite merely an illusion

My duplicitous stalker  
interrupts sleep,
carries a knife.
Her caresses leave open wounds and
scrape off scabs from our earlier encounters.

A mean trade off
for a few moments of peace.


22 comments:

  1. You capture the reality of deep loss all too well in this piece. Painful to write and to read, and also very well done. Hope you feel a bit better from having shared it, Cheerie. Hugs. maribethbatcho.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks Maribeth. I might well continue to work on this, but I suspect there are some pieces that need to be eventually abandoned.

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  2. This is a beautiful poem. I'm sorry for your sadness. May you find peace and healing.

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    1. Thank you Amy. I am sure it will get better.

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  3. I agree, so painful to read and I know that I couldn't have written a poem like that, but wow, I feel it with you, Cheerie.
    Bonnie K.

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    1. Thanks Bonnie, I'm glad that it works to capture that intensity of those feelings.

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  4. And that mistress appears in the least likely places. Beautifully written, Cheriee. Good for you for trying to show what you're feeling, and how very hard it is. Hugs across the way!

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  5. The truth of this poem sent shivers down my spine - powerful!

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    1. I'm glad it works to convey that experience of grief. It's a hard time.

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  6. What a powerful poem. Grief does hold us in its grip. You espress your pain and grief so eloquently. May you be surrounded by love and peace in the days, weeks and months ahead.

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    1. I am Beverley. This doesn't mean there are not difficult days, but I am thankful to have a loving family. My siblings and I are all in this together and knowing someone gets where you are is a blessing.

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  7. She does sneak in without warning and often times unexpected. Sometimes we are prepared for her bot most times not. Thoughts are with you.

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    1. She sure does! I've lost my father, so I know what this is all about. I know so long as I let myself grieve, it will be ok, but you are right, she just comes and goes as she wants.

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  8. Oh Cheriee. Grief is something we're never prepared to handle, is it? And this weekend, with a memorial service and then Mother's Day was not an easy one. My thoughts are with you as you try to get through this emotional time.

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    1. Never! Even when we've done it before, each cut feels fresh and new and unexpected. The consolation is that I have done it before and I know it will pass.

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  9. Wow - that was really powerful! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for your comments. I'm glad it moved you.

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  10. I'm glad you are able to feel a little better through your words. Your poem captures all that you are feeling and going through. Good luck and here's to happier times!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Lynn. The times will inevitably get better.

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  11. A sort of terribly faithful infidelity, from my vantage. This one hurt to read. I thank you, Cheriee, for taking the risk of publishing.

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    1. Thanks Brian. I like this line of yours, "a sort of terribly faithful infidelity" I appreciate your support.

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