Grief is the tear we wipe away, embarrassed,
the gasp in the dark, phones ringing through the night.
Grief tastes of Mother’s pies that no one’s mastered,
the smell of Dad’s tobacco, pipes so long gone cold.
Grief sits with us in joyful hours, and in our loneliness,
asking the questions for which no answers come.
Grief tells us what we do not wish to know.
A blush, a flash of fire,
Leaves falling – kept promises.
Robins’ breasts on fire,
Bulbs bursting – their turn.
I rise and turn,
Old hands toward the fire.
What do I bring to spring’s promise?
Like the leaves, it is my turn
To feed the fire
That helps the stars to turn.