Grief Like Water

Grief like water
on the shore of the soul,
a storm of emotion crashing
from the deep sea of emptiness
pain heaving and coursing,
pitching the heart,
battering reality,
undermining normality.

Grief like water
in spate ripping through
the exposed flank of the self
uprooting any attempts to hold it back,
unable to restrain emotions too strong,
constrain nearly unendurable pain
of remembered words of love unspoken,
of recalled words of frustration unretractable.

Grief like water
in dribs and drabs
when it feels as if too many tears
have been shed already,
a catch in the throat
an unexpected and unguarded thought
at the echo of absent presence at the sharp
edge of longing.

Grief like water
at the threshold of awareness softly
frothing on the grains of memory and loss,
arriving and retreating,
ebbing and flowing
the tide of surviving,
the unrelenting motions
in the rhythm of being
and life carrying on.

Grief like water
flowing through the empty days and nights
after the losing, beyond the parting,
until in months or years it comes into the delta,
the estuary, the outlet
of life into further living
where softened it becomes a gentle aching
assuaged by time.

The Fever Broke

The fever broke.
I swam
to the surface of awareness,
fighting the tide
of bed linens and pillows
spluttering to breathe
through the barrage of coughs.
I barked like a seal
taunting the beach.

The fever broke.
I stretched
exhausted on the shore of the duvet
the sun rose above the horizon
casting golden light
through the windows.
I reached for a glass of water
though the sweat ran off me
in rivulets unquenching.

The fever broke.
I move
slowly as the virus
slips through my system
the cold subsiding
into fits of coughing
preceded by glass-shattering sneezes,
no dainty lady-like aschoos,
more like glass shattering AH-AH-AH-CHOOOOOs
scaring the cats
wracking my body
leaving muscles aching.

The fever broke.
I remain
unbroken though
barely able to speak,
and a bath is exertion enough
to send me napping,
seeking the lost dream
from which the breaking fever
pulled me away,
though the coughs
drag me once more awake
unsatisfied and confused.