Grief is a gift
from the gods.

They keep it
locked away in a cupboard
in the old woodshed out back.
But when it’s needed
they send the children out to fetch it.
They open the rose wood box
and fold back the crimson silk
and decant some small mess of it
into a glass vial for you

“Take. Drink this
in remembrance.
This is yours.
This is the sum total of grief
that you have been allotted
for so short life.”

You choke down
the pitying ration
with all the tears
and sobs of a child
taking his medicine.

The sickly sweet,
melancholy scent
even long after
you have nothing left
to grieve.


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