A Poem: The Work of Grief

It’s the work of grief
to walk two paths.
To live the present tense,
and travel the route
our hearts would take
if choice were ours.

It’s the holy work of grief
to acknowledge the cost
of loss.
To weigh up what’s left,
treasures in the hand
now spent.

It’s the sacred task of grief
to bear witness
to grace,
that comes on silent feet
to spring-clean rooms
of residual dust.

And
it’s the sacred role of grief
to reroute us on a road
now taken shape
upon the remains
of former gifts.

Grief’s task is not done,
and often
the fallowed earth
newly turned,
brings with tears,
an Eden remembered.

But grief,
the shadow side of life’s jewels,
shows us how to regroup
and outlive loss
by turning
to the light.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
August 2018


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