The Anti-Grief

Day after day of rain. A ticket straight to
the mild-mannered hell of rethinking whatever,

the drive to EconoFoods: not a lot of grief in that.
You need staples — bread, rice, eggs.
Here’s a list: almonds, yogurt, all the little
anti-griefs add up.

Did I tell you? my grandfather sings from the grave.
They have my old Philco here.
I know all about your world of godawful and too bad.

I keep driving. In rain. Some luck required. Stop light.
Flashy cars on both sides playing radios too loud.
Ear damage! I used to shout out the window,
my boy in the front seat trying hard to shrink, not to know
who is that crazy at the wheel.

Grandfather likes saying: what? Half-deaf even now.

Half a lot of things, anytime. Half, what gives?
giving way. If there is a we or a you or an I finally.
He’d cup an ear if he had an ear.

So it is, the first anti-grief, a feather he picked up.
My childhood, walking with
the oldest man I ever, 1874 his
start date. Alarm and Should Have, two roads
he would not cross, and Consequence
a street over, he ignored completely. Always
an eye out for the great
small peculiar.

A feather. Sometimes handed to me. Or he’d
oil a clock with it right off the curb.
Into a pocket.

More Poems by Marianne Boruch