|by Emily Dickinson
I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes-
I wonder if It weighs like Mine-
Or has an Easier size.
I wonder if They bore it long-
Or did it just begin-
I could not tell the Date of Mine-
It feels so old a pain-
I wonder if it hurts to live-
And if They have to try-
And whether-could They choose between-
It would not be-to die-
I note that Some-gone patient long-
At length, renew their smile-
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil-
I wonder if when Years have piled-
Some Thousands-on the Harm-
That hurt them early-such a lapse
Could give them any Balm-
Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve-
Enlightened to a larger Pain-
In Contrast with the Love-
The Grieved-are many-I am told-
There is the various Cause-
Death-is but one-and comes but once-
And only nails the eyes-
There’s Grief of Want-and grief of Cold-
A sort they call “Despair”-
There’s Banishment from native Eyes-
In sight of Native Air-
And though I may not guess the kind-
Correctly-yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary
To note the fashions-of the Cross-
And how they’re mostly worn-
Still fascinated to presume-
That Some-are like my own-
el Dia de la Alma
by Kate Curlee
Trussed up in pretty pajamas and diamond earrings,
Your carefully coiffed hair felt flat as your spirit left.
It seeped out in doses, it ebbed away in waves.
My tender goodbyes and lame jokes ceased producing smiles
and left only twitches of slack muscle.
You spoke to us in sighs until there was no breath left.
In the holy church of the dying,
we prayed for the nearly-departed around an altar draped in vestments of hospital sheets.
It was your wake, and I knew the time had come to wish you on your way.