Friday, February 3, 2017

Poem: Grief

Maria Gillan reading at the Carriage House Poetry Series in 2016


I have been grieving for a long time now.
So many of those I loved gone.
I remain behind in a house
that's suddenly too big for me.
I hide out in the back room,
sit in my brown recliner,
the kind I've always hated
because it smacks of illness and old age.

Now, I joke I am having an affair with my chair
with its pillowy, velvet arms, the way
it welcomes me home, the way I fall asleep in it
as though I were a child and it were a cradle.

I have been grieving for a long time now,
wish I could call you all back
and, sometimes, I imagine you are with me,
in my dreams you seem so alive,
you come to comfort me,
though when I wake up, you have vanished.

But I am learning gratitude for another April,
the world in its radiance dancing into spring,
and I am here to greet it,
my arms open, my feet
doing their own quiet dance.

"Grief" appeared on and is included in Maria's collction What Blooms in Winter (2016).

Maria is the author of twenty-one books. Her collection of poems and her own artwork is The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets  (2016). Her official website is at

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