Two Ways of Grief
Once, I would not wear the shirt
Because it was my husband’s
I would not wear the socks
I would not wear the hat or garden gloves
I would not push the wheelbarrow
I would not take the trash to the curb
I would not lift that book
Or see what was beneath the stack
In the living room I would not
Because these things belonged to my husband
Later, my friend says, “There are two ways
to live–either in love or fear.
If you are living in fear, you are not loving.”
“I’m not afraid of anything,” I said.
“I know,” She said. “How is it to be in love all the time?”
“Oh, the pain of it,” I said. I looked over the cliff.
Someday I will fall and that’s okay.
My voice is not the center
Of all that I am saying. Outside, rain blackens
Pavement and the azaleas
sparkle, purple and salmon.
Far away, two men sit against a wall
And share a pipe. A boy on an island
Tethers a boat to a piling.
How could I ever be afraid?