Grief Poem #1, 2011

13 Moons, Since

Somehow I have managed
to weave her a nest
from bits of bone
my fallen hair
her ash, the shredded pages
of her old IRS forms.
I’ve knit these together
on the beams of the 13 moons,
since.

I can—most of the time—
keep her tucked in this corner of my heart
where the spirits care for her.
I don’t trip over the anguish
nearly so often now,
now mostly only when I choose.
Mostly.

I can’t recall the last time
I broke down after dialing
yet one more 800 number
to have her name removed
from yet one more mailing list.
We’ll need her signature,
one hapless call-center guy replied.
That will be difficult
I re-explained
since she is dead.
Oh, he said.
I’ll take care of it, he said.
Would that you could, I thought.
I open her mail: “Order now,
we’ll give you free shipping for life.”
And, after her mail is forwarded to my house,
“Welcome to the neighborhood.”

I am forced to say she is dead
over and over again
to write deceased across forms
to declare myself
the personal representative
of her Estate, to ask
do you need the Letters Testamentary?
a Death Certificate?
will a photocopy do?
Each action, each word spoken
another letting of blood.

Yet without these burdens
I might have wandered
the labyrinthine hallways
of disbelief for an eternity.
Only as her mail shrank
my official duties withered
could I begin to glean
that what remains of my daughter
is this one bittersweet bundle
nestled here within me.

© creativecommonsstockphotos / Dreamstime Stock Photo

The After Death Chronicles: True Stories of Comfort, Guidance, and Wisdom from Beyond the Veil. To be released October 6, 2017. Watch for pre-ordering in July.
www.anniemattingley.com

4 thoughts on “Grief Poem #1, 2011

  1. Oh Annie
    What a beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing. See you very soon. How nice to say that knowing we will be together Thursday

    Like

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