Nine Stages of Grief

A Poem by Larry Thacker

Sense a heavy drop in the belly and chest
as you’re rousted from sleep by long rings
of the phone at 2:38 in the morning.

Pull everything out of the closet, in search 
of a potential suit for the funeral. Stare at it stacked
on the bed. Wonder how much should just be
bagged up now to save time later.

Question dream fragments as missed, foreboding
clues from the Universe you might have understood
were you more spiritually savvy.

Take out a dozen magazine subscriptions
with the urge to have something nice arriving
in the mail every day.

Page through books in the library. They would have
left behind a note, surely. Some explanation
of sorts, riddled, perhaps. In a favorite book
of poems. Yes. Try that.

Ask your best friend who that psychic was she used
that one time that she loved so much.

Wanting to write a book. Any book.
Just a fucking book. Before you die.
Because isn’t there a hint of immortality
in the writing of it? Not finishing, but
the writing you’d think, right?

Pray for rain every evening, knowing it rarely comes,
but knowing when you’re right it’s like an answered gift.
Then check the rain bucket under the gutter drain
each morning in case it rained and you missed it.

Dig in the garden. Hoping
you never find anything digging back.

Larry Thacker’s poetry is in over one-hundred-and-fifty publications including Spillway, Still: The Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, American Journal of Poetry, Poetry South, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, The Lake, Illuminations Literary Magazine, and Appalachian Heritage.His books include Mountain Mysteries, and the poetry books, Drifting in Awe, Voice Hunting, Memory Train, and the forthcoming full collections, Feasts of Evasion and Grave Robber Confessional. His MFA in poetry and fiction is earned from West Virginia Wesleyan College. Visit his website at: www.larrydthacker.com

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