The Cracks Of Grief

The Minneapolis Star pulled no punches
John Berryman jumped from a bridge
Landed, a dead weight, on the bank of the Mississippi

In the land of jacarandas in Messolonghi, Greece,
Byron suffered a lingering death by healthcare
Leeches, opium, mustard blisters, the works
Strips of his skin, preserved as poetic relics

In the worst winter for years
Plath wrote 13 poems in 8 brief weeks
Lay down like a lamb in a top floor flat
In Primrose hill, breathed in the Lion, Death

Anne Sexton lunched with a friend,
Chit chat about writing and such
Then home to Black Oak Road
Into the garage, switched on the Mercury Cougar
She went out in style, ringless, wearing a fur coat
Glass of vodka in hand, toasting the Grim Reaper

Peacefully/ Suddenly/ Bravely
After a long/short struggle
The dead are written off
And after, in the columns of the press
The poems of ordinary folk, remembering.
Their healing rhymes that mend the cracks of grief

by Sheena Blackhall

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