Prose Poem: Grief Gifts

I don’t think I’ve ever tried what’s called a prose poem. I’m still not entirely sure I grasp the concept (just as I’ve always played fast and loose with haiku), but the basic idea seems to be that the prose poem has all the hallmarks of a poem (symbolism, metaphors, lyrical writing, etc.), but isn’t structured with traditional line breaks.

For some inspiration, I was listening to one of my favorite songs:

Gets me every single time.

Grief Gifts

For your thirtieth birthday, the first one I’d missed in five years because it fell eighteen days after you left me, I gave you a soft blanket. Because I knew you needed one. Because it was your birthday. Because I wanted you back. You loved it. You told me how soft it was. You still didn’t take me back. When I came back a week later because I found a, “I love you!” note in one of my books from a hand that belonged to you, but a heart that no longer did, and I wanted to show you, he — or someone, but probably him — was upstairs putting together your daughter’s bed. And putting together something new with you. You threw away the note. I left. In a last effort, I procured your (our) favorite wine from California, delivered to a friend in Florida since they don’t deliver to Ohio. You drank the whole bottle (maybe with him? did he know?). Delicious as always. And you told me you had a boyfriend now, “sorry.” The grief gifts stopped; instead, I took sojourns to the grocery parking lot to see your vehicle, not to do anything, not that I would do anything, but to long, I guess, next to shoppers filling their vehicles with toilet paper and frozen pizzas. You still communicated with me, texted me like maybe you couldn’t quite let go, either, or so I hoped. For six months. Then that stopped, too. Now, when you guys clink wedding rings in bed, I wonder if you still have that blanket. If you think about me.

Creative Commons photo.

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