I DON'T KNOW HOW TO GRIEVE by Corinna Rae Reilly

Instead I pack
my little bag and drive

around thinking I should
cry, at least feel

 something. Then life carries
on the way a river does

after a drowning. I go
about my business for weeks

or months before tears start
falling out like teeth. What sets them

off could be anything – a splash
of hawk across a blank

canvas of sky, or the mention
of a sad animal somewhere

who can’t understand its own
suffering. What I mean is my grief

is not my own. It waits
in the wings to slink

onto stage and perform. Its body
twitches at first then relaxes, rises

on tiptoe, arms stretched
wide as if to say this

is how big, and collapses
in a choreographed heap, spine

silken as it billows slow back
up to standing. The rise, the fall: the cycle

of things. Finally, bright
lights – grief bows low, plants

a kiss at its own feet, waves
us on.

Photo by used and opethepainter, adapted under CC.