About Grief

What I’m learning about grief
is that I do not know how to grieve
Someday, surely, grief will show me how

I did not grieve for my parents, not truly
for they lived long lives
and I loved them only speechlessly

and only rare occasions bring them back,
the sight, for instance, of a row of modest houses
and a man making patient repairs

I did not grieve for friends who were lost,
mainly to time, or distance, that slow falling away
in the course of starting one’s own life over, again and again,

until something stuck, and then
too much time had passed to go back
And then I regretted, but only for myself,

my foolishness, my cowardice
protecting myself from caring too much,
lest some great loss should move me to grieve

Someday I will learn about grief
when Grief comes to show me to myself,
and then I will inquire, also, about pity

Robert Knox is a poet, fiction writer, and Boston Globe correspondent. As a contributing editor for the online poetry journal Verse-Virtual, his poems appear regularly on that site. They have also appeared in journals such as The American Journal of Poetry, New Verse News, Unlikely Stories, and others. His poetry chapbook Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty was nominated for a Massachusetts Best Book award. He is the winner of the 2019 Anita McAndrews Poetry Award.

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1 Response to About Grief

  1. Kika Dorsey says:

    I love the part of “starting one’s own life, again and again…” So true to life.

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