Unwelcome One

I hit like Vesuvius.
Greater emotional impact
Than one's first love.
Irrepressible as incoming tide.
Washing over sand castles.
I elicit self-doubt,
I bring on red anger,
Social awkwardness,
Loner spirit.
I humiliate
With damp blubber.
Pluck the mournful strings,
Drag up guilt for things
Not said; not done;
Not forgiven.
I pilfer memories.
And energy.
I cause friends
To keep distant,
To stammer,
To grow impatient.
I haunt with faces,
Gestures, music,
Abandoned wardrobe.
I roar
At the phrase
"Snap out of it."
Cause men to doubt
Their manhood.
Cause women to remember
Apron strings, rockers
And first school-days.
I befuddle and
Bring on mistakes,
I slander God
And His kind.
(For a time.)
I tax prayer
Beyond itself.

But I also clean
The inner residues;
Flush out the vitriol;
Relieve the inexplicable;
Distill humble servant-spirit;
Develop new-found audacities,
Currencies, compassions.
Evoke the dark night,
That joy might
Come in the morning.

I am Grief.


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