30 Jul 2013

Dena asks me,

“How do you cope with grief?”

and all I can think

of are the licked-clean

broken eggshells

scattered with pinecones

along the path

where I walk my dogs


and of the cacophony

I heard yesterday—

the flapping chaos

as I put the laundry out to dry

a mother bird cried

how wild the pain

how pained the wild


I stood in the sun

the bamboo wind chimes

clinking in time

and then the thought:

the German warplane

found intact on shallow shores of England


that millisecond:

I will send this to Dad


who died eight months ago



an empty shell

the wild pain of his mother

who at eighty-two only suffers

from bad knees

slow legs

an empty nest


I do not know how

you cope with grief;

I only know it comes

in cacophonies followed by silence—

long pauses to remember

and forget again.


© Julie Bolitho. “Grief,” Poem. The Vein. The Vein press: 2013, online edition found at:






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© Julie Bolitho 2018