Complicated grief (F43.21)

taught me to sit.
Not upright or mindfully
but however my body fell—
curled, slumped,
sideways, half-asleep.
Loss demolished monks
and mantras, leaving only
a nascent alphabet of sobs.
Grief — raw, protracted,
impenitent — ignited long-
dormant strips of genome
and many-times great-grandmothers
who rose up from light and flame
calling, heed this maelstrom.
We rode it, rowed it,
bent, sodden and inglorious,
weathered and bequeathed it
to you. Now you are grief’s compass,
its oars. Let it teach you, or not,
change you, or not,
but let it be real, and now,
and worth weathering.

 

Recurrent major depression disorder,
in full remission (F33.42)           

is a seesaw.
on one side:

brown pill
bottles

scribbled
journals

cadenced
breaths.

 

on the other:
abyss

 

 

Amy Karon’s credits include Eastern Iowa Review, Inking the Unthinkable: Poems About Poetry (Lagan Online), Cricket, Mystic Blue Review, Iowa Heritage Illustrated, and Eternal Haunted Summer. She lived for years in the American Southwest and now divides her time between India and California.

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