Field balm, otherwise known as Ground ivy, Creeping Charlie, Alehoof, and Gill-over-the-ground

I’m a slow learner. Or another word: stubborn.

Pain is a patient teacher.

I love the way Denise Levertov imagines a gentle conversation with grief…

Talking to Grief

By Denise Levertov

Ah, grief, I should not treat you
like a homeless dog
who comes to the back door
for a crust, for a meatless bone.
I should trust you.

I should coax you
into the house and give you
your own corner,
a worn mat to lie on,
your own water dish.

You think I don’t know you’ve been living
under my porch.
You long for your real place to be readied
before winter comes. You need
your name,
your collar and tag. You need
the right to warn off intruders,
to consider
my house your own
and me your person
and yourself
my own dog.

Daisy and purple dead-nettle

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“Talking to Grief” is found in the following collection:

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From Sparks Like Stars, by Nadia Sashimi:

“With a kind of magic I didn’t fully appreciate as a child, my parents spun grief into gratitude.”

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Some dogs welcome intruders, of course. It all depends on the dog. It seems to me the important thing might be letting the dog in, and giving it a name.

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