I think our only recourse it to acknowledge that everyone’s grief is their own, immeasurable.
After my dad died and my mom’s worsening dementia forced her into a care facility, it fell to my sister and me to clean out their house. When we walked inside, it was like uncovering an intact archaeological site. My dad’s closet was still filled with his fleece jackets and golf shirts. Inside the pantry, opened bags of potato chips and crackers were sealed with clips. I expected my mom to walk into the kitchen, grab the half-used bottle of Windex from the shelf and clean the table.
“Love/it was exactly like this/when, for the first time,/we stepped toward each other/like two people folding a bedsheet”
“Birthday,” by Nancy Reisman, appears in the Winter 2019 Issue of MQR. For a year after her room emptied and I left town, I was still, nonetheless, there with her. For a year it was night and she was afraid and we lay on the bed
“Do you remember our first / January at Eagle Pond, / the coldest in a century? / It dropped to thirty-eight below— / with no furnace, no storm / windows or insulation. / We sat reading or writing / in our two big chairs, either / side of the Glenwood, / and made love on the floor / with the stove open and roaring. / You were twenty-eight. / If someone had told us then / you would die in nineteen years, / would it have sounded / like almost enough time?”