Stages of Grief
by Joan Leotta

The first week
My world is spinning
"That's nothing, the world always spins,"
 they tell me.
"They" always know best.
Their world is fixed
on its axis, firm and sure
Mine has lost its axis,
whirling and twirling
out into space,
out of control.
I am oblivious to all but my loss.
Three months after
I am quiet
when I used to laugh
when I used to be pensive
Still awake
Late into the night
Talking to a picture,
Instead of
Chatting with my son.
Angry he has left us,
After a year
Words begin
 to make sense again
when I lay them out on paper.
I have forgiven my dear son
for leaving us, although
my heart still clenches at
when I think I see him somewhere.
His things are packed.
Some given away.
Little bits of rock
and shell and more,
festoon the shelf
by his photo—
Offerings to show I'm thinking
of him on beach walks
forest treks or in new cities.
I hang his stocking up at Christmas
and fill it with a letter.
One plus one
Makes 11.
Two years later, I
this joke between us,
we two who hated math.
I unpack his journals.
It's time to write about him,
and share his thoughts
with the world.
I am compelled to
speak his name,
loudly and
in print
wherever possible,
So he will never
be forgotten.
Nov 30, 2013



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