, ,

The Cost of Grief


Thirty dollars for burgers and beer the night

we find out she’s dead. The burgers black and blue,

hot enough to bruise the edges of our tongue,

the waitress blond and blue, hot enough to

fizz the edges of our grief. Thirty six, actually,

once you add the tip.


Three hours for the walk under the diabetic swollen moon.

The puppy who loved her doesn’t know. Or maybe she does.

Who’s to say that tongue lolling isn’t just her way of

missing those cigarette-scented chew toys?

You and I, we know. I say one bitch down, two to go.

Under the stars, it’s enough to make you laugh.


Day two costs twenty-seven bucks for comfort

food and movies. Things that crunch so loud

we can’t hear the quiet inhale of her Kools.

These were her secret addiction, you say.

The package of cheese and crackers you hold

is a hundred years old. She was only sixty seven.


Tomorrow is day three. Who knows what it will cost?

Only that we will open the wallets of our skin,

squeeze the pursecoins of our chests,

pay to cross this wide, raging river in something

that will not sink.


NOTES: Couldn’t do today’s prompt. A loved one lost the woman who raised him last night, so everything’s tinged with sadness and a secondary grief. Thus, a pretty raw, straightforward creature.
Read today’s prompt by Gina Williams (as well as the inspiration beyond poem-a-day) over at Not Without Poetry. My goal is to write a poem each day in less than 20 minutes, and without additional revision beyond the writing experience.