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Selected Works

The following is a hand-picked collection of works from all of our volumes of Grieve.

The Art of Losing

I do not master well this art of losing—
last year our Dad, and now the house is sold.
Instinctively, I grieve for all that’s passing.

So many homes we’ve had—we’re used to moving—
yet strange to see Mum taking charge alone.
We pack and sweep, distracted from our losing.

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Are You There?

If I should pick and unpick my way across
torn dreams spun tight over long years,
if I collect the fragments and bones and artefacts
and examine them diligently
for signs and omens,
is it enough?
Shall I find you again?

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A Story About Love

She’s fighting with herself as she leaves his room, trying not to fall apart before she reaches the nurse’s station; all along the corridor gathering herself up, as if the foyer was a hurdle she had to leap—every day asking herself the same question: how can she possibly leave him here?

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Key Change

You, c-shaped, ankles crossed under a piano stool,
suspended notes, pages the colour of weak tea, cases
buckled, black and stiff. Rememberings—the kitchen

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Waiting Beside You

All I can do is sit by your bed and watch you die.
I don’t yet know that what I am feeding you
will become your last meal on this earth.

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Tears and the Sea

I found a lump. Sounds innocuous when you say it like that. It was about the size of a pea. Really, it was. Small. Hard. Painless. I was sitting watching telly with my boys and my hand was resting under my armpit as I massaged my sore muscles from the day’s swim.

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A Different Grief

I have no right to this grief. That is what I’ve been told over and over again by those of my family who are the most qualified to know. After all I was only two when she died. I have no memory of her face, her voice, the warmth of her hands. There are no lingering memories of regretful goodbyes playing on the fringes of my mind. I don’t see her in the crowd and run to her side only to offer tearful and embarrassed apologies to a woman who, on closer inspection, could never be her at all. I don’t close my eyes on a flood of images that centre on hospital beds, beeping machines or hands grown cold, with any sense of desperation. I didn’t, full of pain, wish it to be over only to feel that I would do anything to have her back again later.

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An Explanation

You were too shy. You were reluctant to face the jagged branches, the sharp-winged birds.

‘A little mouse,’ your father said as we stood before the screen. It held six photographs of you. Six stills.

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What Would You Say?

Driving to the beach the other day, you were in the car beside me and it made me happy. I was talking to you and you were smiling. I made up things that you would say and we laughed together. Without even turning to look at you, I could see you.

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