Grief Is a Madman, a poem

Grief is a madman

Gripping, tearing, ripping, snaring,

Thieving memory within the yearning for normalcy.

Grief is a mad fisherman,

Plunging hooks of fear into tender moments,

Running through ships of joy waving arsenic laden harpoons.

Grief is a torchbearer through ripened wheat,

A pruning hook in a season of blooms,

A flock of starlings in the time of planting.

Grief is a widow maker when all parties are living,

Knowing no bounds to its need for stripping.

Begging for you to cope,

Mocking the shreds of hope,

Hiding behind the veil of commonality,

Laughing at claims of individuality.

Grief hangs his deadweight cloak,

Collapsing the coatracks of the weak and the strong

So no one will want to come and visit.

He sets up house, sets up shop,

Promises that the stage of anger is easier than the stage of acceptance

As if he knows you.

Grief is a liar that tells more truths than the heart can bear.

Grief is an umbrella in the hands of a comic book villain,

Spraying bullets in the rain

So they could just know my pain.

Grief bears the sign that reads “Abandon me,”

And beckons the response,

“This hurts too much to see.”


Grief was a package one Passover day,

Flooding a heart with water

Exerting all of its power.

Grief so strong it turned out the sun.

Grief so strong it turned a day into a thousand years,

Coaxing the tears of God,

A head hung down, a back turned:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?


But borne by a heart stronger still,

Grief didn’t realize his defeat until, “It is finished!”

And three days later, when the stone was rolled away,

We forever have a companion

Who bore its full force and arose victorious.

The torch now illuminates a room,

The pruning hook has now learned its season,

The madman is free of his legion

And sits clothed, in his right mind,

Offering compassion.

Grief has been borne

And reborn as empathy.


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