When Women Write about Death
Roxanne Roberts wrote about how the Grieving
“never ends,” how suicide stays with you,
her father, dead, like mine—two events
so singular and so unique, but then again not.
I feel more like Joan Didion at the death of her husband,
a cool customer, unable to formulate thoughts,
wasting brain on the fly on the wall, waiting
for the panic to hit—the frenzy to begin.
I am still young in my writing—
without the luxury of looking back, years later,
and putting this in perspective, if possible.
No, it never goes away, but lingers
sometimes in the front of consciousness,
but sometimes just as that fly on the wall,
the monster in the closet that no bedtime story
can eradicate. I am no cool customer, and no
statistics citer—I will never be either,
I am a mad woman in the attic, biding time
until I feel better and some days I do and
that nightmare under the bed goes quiet.
Some days I sleep peacefully and restfully
without waking in a sweat, without seeing violence
under my eyelids, without cringing at images,
once indifferent but now unsettling.
Some days things are alright, but other days
I hold back the frenzy, like a shadow it follows me
sewn to my toes and mockingly dancing with pain
as it pokes at the back of my neck trying to get a rise.
No, I am no cool customer and no trodden advocate—
I will never be either; instead I am a mad frenzy
of pent up energy and love that bangs on the edges—
knock, knock, knocking—at my head continuously.