I gave grief a different name

This is a poem I wrote recently. I don’t pretend to be a poet, but I’m challenging myself to share more of what I create – so here you go!

Grief came by again today,

I asked how long it planned to stay.

I never left, it replied,

You seem to forget I’m by your side.

I don’t forget, I declared,

You leave and I’m no longer scared.

Of memory moments and bursts of pain,

That you bring forward again and again.

Yes, those I bring I can’t deny,

But you ignore what else I try.

The memories that make you smile,

That bring you joy for just a while.

I bring them all, don’t you see?

It’s like you don’t recognise me.

What is your name? I asked in haste,

Too quick, for I knew to ask was waste.

That you decide, it replied,

All I do is stay by your side.

Some call me grief, some call me fear,

Some move too far away to hear.

Who I am is but your choice,

All I am is a little voice.

I pondered this, long and hard,

Though it pierced me like a shard.

For grief that I had grown to hate,

Seemed dearer to my heart of late.

For memories hurt, but taste sweet too,

They cannot help but be those two.

A stab of pain may hurt the heart,

But then I know we weren’t always apart.

What if I gave you a different name?

I asked grief, who still looked the same.

What name is that? It asked with care,

For to hope for better it would not dare.

I’ll call you love, I said with pride,

And pulled it closer to my side.

So I gave grief a different name.

Sometimes it hurts just the same.

But when it does, I can almost see,

The love that caused my grief to be.

Jenny Guilford – November 2019

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