Grieve Project banner

Selected Works

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

For My Mother

My brother rang me in Bangkok
where I had placed a prayer wheel
on the altar of the golden Buddha

lit incense in that foreign space
hoping for some efficacy
and any gamble worth a try

Read More »

The Shape of Life

I am always, it seems, the corner in a solid circle; square peg, round hole.
Soft powdery warmth, the fold and roll of velvet skin, the dome of a feathered fragile head; muslin wraps a bundle of cherished creation.
I ache for the unattainable; a slow hot drip.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

Losing Elizabeth

Today I had a call from the young woman who used to be my kind and loving daughter. The special ring tone that I reserve for her calls punches me hard in the middle of my chest. I take a deep breath and press ‘accept’. It’s what I am trying to do—accept her for who she is now.
       “Hi Mum!”
       “Hello Darling, how are you today?”
       “Fine. Can I borrow your car? I need to pick up my stuff from a friend’s place.”

Read More »

If

A woman I barely know says she understands what I’m going through; she can imagine the horror of losing a daughter.
‘I couldn’t go on with life if I lost mine,’ she says.
I wish that ‘if’ was mine.
The woman’s ‘if’ means she cannot understand.

Read More »

My Mourning

They say my mourning has gone on long enough.
Those people who never came and sat beside your bed while your life slowly slipped away.
Those people who use their words as though there was some poetry in your death.

Read More »

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?

Read More »

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?

Read More »