Grief on a Hallowed Eve

You’ll put it in a music box on the dresser
in the guest room where you only go to dust
or you’ll hide it in a milky white vase on the mantel
and not pay it attention when you light a fire sipping wine
but then you’ll walk past the guitar with the capo
your grandfather gifted you for no reason in his last year
the cherry wood dining table that was grandmother's
you drive by the burger joint where your dad said
you will be magnificent and you already are
you’ll walk on the hardwood floors your
mother said wouldn’t they look lovely if refinished
and they are but not before she died and so
the grief you carry cannot be hid long before it
jumps out at you a skeleton behind the front oak tree
on Halloween before all the saints are remembered
so just when you thought the day was ordinary and tearless
all these dead and the fragments of their holy lives
haunt and stir you to imagine your own dying day
every grief is here to stay, waiting, they just need you
like the dog to take them out and play with them a while

and let them entangle and wrestle and empty you again
so you have room for the dead to rise and fill you
with their wisdom only offered to those who pause to weep
and then your ghostly beloved and God with them
make your life hallowed again and spirit you through today


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