Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Grief

Deathbed driving fucks with your head;
I get lost in my own hometown.
Have to turn around and backtrack
like some damn tourist.

At the pharmacy, I learn
that prescriptions from hospice are free
and tagged with little orange stickers.
The clerk jerks back from the dayglo on the bag
and avoids my eyes.

It's all right, I want to tell her.
Don't worry; it's all right.
Grief isn't contagious.
You're born with it.

For Open Link Night at dVerse

33 comments:

Mary said...

Whew, the last two lines are such a strong ending to your very strong poem.

Fireblossom said...

I didn't know that, about the prescriptions.

That last line packs a mean punch.

hedgewitch said...

People don't want to acknowledge that condition until it's forced on them, and most are not very damn gracious about it when it is. Your poem highlights how the details spring out at you when you're stressed, and the big picture blurs. I remember during my second marriage, I would run stoplights all the time--just didn't see them because all I could think about was flooring it and running away. A fine, crisp, unsentimental bit of writing here, MZ. Hang in there.

Claudia said...

things are turned upside down then... i can imagine...and no one really wants to be confronted with death...or grief... hugs...

Marion said...

Lots of naked, stark truth in this poem. My aunt died of lung cancer in her home and it took 2 heartbreaking years. Hospice came twice a week, every week and brought the medicine and flowers to her. Mama nursed her older sister for those 2 long years until she finally let go of her soul and died. I'd never seen a person who wanted to live so badly that she refused to die...she was practically a skeleton with skin when she did let go... We now know there really are angels on earth: they're called hospice nurses. Great poem MZ. xo

Kim Nelson said...

Such profundity and honesty. Again, you capture one of life's greatest challenges with nuance and grace. Damn good writing.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Grief is not contagious
You're born with it...

I shall carry these words for the rest of my life.

ayala said...

wow..I felt this one. Strong emotions, love the last line. Hugs.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I love you and I hate you at the same time - you make it all so seem so damned effortless, which proves you work and work and work at it only no one sees it but you.

Like a leaf dropping and drift inevitably in the breeze. Loved this.

OK, I don't really hate you - I just covet your talent.

LazyAss Mosk

Marina Sofia said...

Those last three lines are so simple, yet so powerful. Wow!

Grace said...

stellar last two lines, I love it ~

blueoran said...

"Deathbed driving" -- A new one for the catelogue. Driving while under the influence of grief. A real wallop of a poem. (PS Last line, really? "Borne" maybe rather than "born"?)

Vernon Wildy Jr said...

I love the first two lines in this piece. One should know their hometown unless circumstances make them forget. The ending was great as well. Well done.

Hannah said...

Wow...this holds the punch in the gut quality that your work tends to carry...your dialogue in the end is effective. Great work, MZ.

rumoursofrhyme said...

Wow!! Those last 2 lines turned a good poem into something really special. Great writing, MZ

Kate Mia said...

Wow..that's a powerful story..of the reality of death and life..both of which we are born with2..but grief..is something..far in the past..i do not experience..strongly..
as life is only life2 me...at least
today..as no one..i truly miss in human form...
has died..in decades...but the journey of hospice..
i know .. is a hard place to trace..even
though i have not visited that place
yet...

Gabriella said...

We can certainly feel how stress and worry drive you to distraction. Very good closing lines, Mama Zen!

Kenia Cris said...

This is so beautiful. Again you kill us all in the end. <3

Paul Crompton said...

Great, moody poem (i pictured it almost like a film noir or pulp fictionesque) with superb closing lines

bwfiction said...

strong! If you live long enough, something bad is bound to happen!

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

A nice poetic piece.

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

steph said...

Deathbed driving... awesome... grief isn't contagious, you're born with it.. awesome again. I read and I learn..great poem.

Todd Alan Kraft said...

The whole work is really well done. The "At the pharmacy, I learn" enjambment is a nice touch. I found the poem a bittersweet acknowledgement of life.

grapeling said...

you tapped a vein - or rather, the femoral artery - with your closing couplet, MZ. ~

Anthony Desmond said...

grief isn't contagious
you're born with it..

love those lines.

and deathbed driving says so much:
distractions in every day life,
driving with a lot on your mind,
driving yourself to an early grave...

there's a lot to value in this write.

Bodhirose said...

Yeah, we're born with it alright... Our society sure does a good job of hiding away all things death. Love what you do with a few lines, MZ.

Truedessa said...

The last two lines really hit hard..
strong emotions in this one.

Susan said...

I am putting this poem in my file of poems I cannot live without.

The eyes have it--those too blurred to see the road and those that avoid seeing. The last two lines are unforgettable. Perfect!

Lorraine Renaud said...

You are as always a 100% right. I know you write, maybe it's fiction, maybe it's not but usually you could be writing about me...freaks me out how right you are, and yet you have no idea

Brian Miller said...

whew...born with the grief....at times it seems like it, you know...

the jerk back from the bag as if it is contageous is effective in this mz....

Pealogic said...

So strong. The orange dayglo hit me in the gut.
Magnificent

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Such a powerful punch to this MZ--a felt piece

razzamadazzle said...

This is so tragic and powerful. Grief really does make people avoid you.