Saturday, November 28, 2015

Peg Runnels: "I Want My Grief"

to be brilliant, fast and gone.
Like Mozart. Or Stevie Ray.
Like fireworks. Boom! Flash!
Ooh, ahh. OK, done. Let’s go.

I want my grief to be brave.
Hurts more now, heals faster,
Grandma said, pouring salt
On a skinned knee.

I want to stand up to grief,
Stand it down, like the
Tiny man, big tank
In Tiananmen Square.

Because. Because if I am brave,
Bold, salty, open enough
The tank, the bleeding, the tears
Will stop sooner. I tell myself.

But grief laughs. Humbles me.
I lose keys, break cups, get lost.
Asked at CarMax Why are you
Selling this car?
I burst

Into an embarrassment of tears.
A friend says, One doesn’t have grief,
Grief has you.

We wrestle, to the mat. I’m pinned.

But sometimes I break free.
Break patterns instead of dishes.
Start to write myself a new story,
To fling myself toward yes,

Begin to say, Oh. Now this. . . . Observe
What life brings. Reframe. Say,
I’m not wrestling grief,
We’re dancing.

So, I put my right foot in . . .
And turn myself about.

"I Want My Grief" by Peg Runnels. © Peg Runnels. Text presented here by poet submission.  

Art credit: "Dance Your Way Through Sorrow," photograph by anaPhenix.

1 comment :

  1. Oh yes to this poem. Yes. "one doesn't have grief, grief has you"! Yes to walking with it, wrestling with it and sometimes making a break for it and having moments of lightness, laughter and even joy. Finding a new way to be with my grief. Thank you, Peg, for writing this. oxo


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