Forever Grief

for Ann


There is a grief that does not die,

but is branded in the mind like an embrace

eye to eye at the top of the stairs

because you knew I needed you

the someone who knew me and knew Mom

before she was admitted when she forgot herself


A forever grief that speaks of how much

we were loved and loved,

that we knew one another

by an umbilical vein older 

than any identity with fault.


I want you to feel my passion, to go back

to the last time we spoke

and listen more closely on your last birthday,

to accept then

that you were dying.


And fly right then to you. To say, I'm coming now.

To make that happen.


To crush this crippling fear that I am not needed

anywhere by anyone but perhaps those who would rather rob me

shame and silence me as this stubborn compassion haunts them.


There's no greater desire than to look into your eyes 

and I won't, so this grief that does not die

keeps me sane.


Love is not delusion,

love is bound because we were

Purple heart in shadow_AJ_6_28_2018.jpg