Grieve Like You Really Mean It :: A Freestyle Poem for Tough Times

grieve like you really mean it because life is hard but you’re still alive, you still have this


this look out the window at the bird on the shovel hanging out of the wheelbarrow in the afternoon light

you still have this

this shadow of the chair standing still against the wall while the shadow of the leaves dance around it

you still have this

your beautiful body in the mirror,

that woman you’re learning to make peace with amidst all the pain,

all the things you never thought it would come to


grieve like you mean it because you are still alive

and it is a blessing to feel sadness so deep

sadness you want to find someone else to blame for

sadness you want to break things over

sadness you wish you didn’t have to feel


yes—I’m talking to you

to that part of you that knows, not in your head, but in your body

how badly you need the sadness


for all those winters you avoided the cold

for all those summers you stayed by the fan

for all the times it rained and you had an umbrella

you need the sadness


us humans are good at creating shelters, homes to live in, comfort, stability

but even we cannot avoid the pain that comes with being alive

even we have a price to pay

and maybe it’s not so physical

maybe we don’t as often suffer the terror of tsunami

or the chill of a tornado… ripping and ravaging our towns


but we are left broken-hearted

we are left alone in our rooms when we thought we had forever

we are left at the doormat of the home we no longer recognize because it is not embodied and imbued with the life of our parents or our children

we suffer, we suffer despite our shelters


suffer like you mean it.


wail. do not wait.

wail loudly, if you so please.

if there is suffering in your heart, find the song, find the poem, find the picture that breaks you apart and let go.

you deserve it.

to know that you are part of all things that have to suffer.


it is the price we pay for life,

it is the price we pay for beauty,

it is the price we pay for breathing and for smiling and for laughing and for orgasming and for kissing and for eating delicious foods and tasting blueberries explode in our mouths

it is the price we pay


it is its own form of beauty

all that have had a lump stuck in their throat for years know that when they finally break down in tears, it is freedom

grieve like you mean it

grieve like you mean it



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