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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Talking to Grief

(Mourning Parents by Käthe Kolwitz, 1867-1945, German sculptor, printmaker, and painter)

Love includes grief. A family must be prepared.


Ah, Grief, I should not treat you
like a homeless dog
who comes to the back door
for a crust, for a meatless bone.
I should trust you.

I should cast you
into the house and give you
your own corner,
a worn mat to lie on,
your own water dish.

You think I don’t know you’ve been living
under my porch.
You long for your real place to be readied
before winter comes. You need
your name,
your collar and tag. You need
the right to warn off intruders,
to consider
my house as your own
and me your person
and yourself
my own dog.

~ Denise Levertov (1923-1977), English-born American poet

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