I have, as the prophets say,
some personal news.
"What's on your mind?" the flashing cursor beckons.
"The finality of death" is too morbid,
and no one makes statuses like that any more, anyways.
"I wish I had asked her for fried chicken instead of spaghetti, just once" is too vague,
a cardinal social sin according to my own commandments.
"Will I ever feel happiness again" is too emo,
even if I have been asking myself that question a lot lately.
I feel the need to explain to all these people
whose lives I know through milestones
(a marathon! a baby! a great deal on leggings!)
that I've hit a milestone, too.
A month of grief, of grasping at acceptance of what's to come, is over.
Death has come. A lifetime more of grief awaits.
I have what marketers might call an audience segmentation problem.
How can I, in just one missive, say everything?
Solidarity with my family;
the loss of a matriarch cuts deep.
An explanation to my organizing buddies;
I'm sorry I can't testify on that bill next week.
Honor, for the people from my hometown;
may we all acknowledge and carry forward her legacy of neighborly concern.
Beauty, for her;
she found it each day in her garden and chastised me, a week before death, for going out without a necklace.
because anything I say without it would be a lie.
This poem was written following the death of Virginia Lottman, my great grandmother. If I knew what else to say, there would be no poem here.