Grief (the third movement)

To grieve is to
acknowledge the finality of loss
to face the possibility
it may not get better
you may never feel as content
as at home, as loved
as you did, there.

To grieve is to
be nostalgic for what was good;
for what never was
and never will be, again
for those missed opportunities
to speak or do that cannot
be recreated, for those
gone moments embossed on your mind
that you didn’t know
were so significant
at the time.

To grieve is to
peel back the scab of anger
reveal the weeping wound

To grieve is to
stop grasping
at hope
at salvage
at reconstitution
at straws
to give up and let go
let your lead heart pull you down
down like gravity
free falling into the abyss
into the bottomless deep

To grieve is to yield to helplessness
and that
is what I fear
most of all.

© S. Rinderle, 2016

Susana Rinderle poems

Grief (the second movement)

Ending things
before hatred sets in
requires releasing hope
those things will improve
which requires relinquishing
another piece of that relentless optimism
that makes you
you

I believe anything is possible
What stands in the way
is their will
Since I can’t control their choice
I control mine
and choose to stay
patient
longer than reasonable

I’m not a gambler
except in this
each losing hand proof
the big win hides in the next
I’ve lost years at this table
feasting on scraps
as years grow scarce
like bargaining chips
I finally fold

Better to end things
before hatred sets in
before too much is lost
like faith and stamina
sometimes optimism thrives better
at a distance
than under constant vigilance

Life is too brief
my wiser heart finally knows
I can bear the grief
as well as I stomach the rage
and grief
is quicker in passing.

© S. Rinderle, 2016

Grief (the first movement)

It is the saying of a thing
that brings relief
The courageous clinging
to maybe not
maybe not yet
perhaps this will pass
gives way to “what’s next?”
and the icy glass wall
of held breath and hope
shatters
freeing the waters
releasing the orcas trapped
inside my gigantic fishbowl zoo
to do what they do
best
flow and roam
in their natural habitat

A year is not a mood
I look past potential
to the historical pattern
of raw material
and no
this does not work for me
now
the signs are clear
I no longer belong
this is not my time anymore
I am no longer home

We can pretend we don’t know
we can wish it
but we can’t un-know
our very glands and cells rebel
against our stubborn denial
we see the cracks in the aquarium wall
we know it’s only a matter of time

It is the speaking of a truth
that brings relief
now there is movement
now I can breathe
now I am
free.

© S. Rinderle, 2015

Grief

9 Regrets

one
that I coaxed his childhood
to lay on mine
But more that I never made him
the wooden car
I promised in exchange

two
that I never returned the wooden hanger
a kindly neighbor lent
to scavenging teens on a mission
on condition of its return
I said I would
I proved a stereotype

three
that I never risked being slapped or ostracized
by talking back
speaking true to power
when it mattered
I was already bruised
and pariah

four
that I missed her stormy adolescence
preoccupied by my own trauma
of premature adulthood

five
that I didn’t lose my virtue
to my beloved at 18
I let years pass in yearning and hope
only to find him again
changed

six
that I didn’t turn around
go back down the ramp at LAX international
fleeing home
borne by honest tears and indignation
abandoning him in response
to his abandonment

seven
that I didn’t give Margarita
my silver hoops when she asked
it was so little to me
so much to her
she’s 35 now
or died years ago
when her people rose up

eight
that I didn’t leave sooner
give up more easily
say no more often

nine
that it’s taken this long
to know I was right
all along
and all my regrets
were pauses.

© S. Rinderle, 11/2015

Muertos

This year
I have built no
altar to the dead.
For the first time
in half my life
I’ve gathered no
keepsakes nor mementos
of those already gone
lit no candles
holding vigil for the death rattle
in what I hasten
to pass.

This year
my life is my altar:
Lost sense of place,
of belonging
and any striving
to make it so.
Lost friends
lost foes
both still beckon
my attention like ghosts.
Lost illusions that people
are anything other than they are
or chose.
Lost hope that I am anything
other than I am –
unrelenting, broken,
tender
and bold.
Lost desire to pretend otherwise.
Lost faith
in my role in progress
my power to
change anything
other than my
self loathing.

This year
my body is my altar:
207 years of legacy ending
my mother will have
no heirs
I only regret
I never wanted them
enough
never trusted
never felt a tribe
of sturdy shoulders around me
knew
it was only up to me
and it was the one thing
I couldn’t do alone.

It is Samhain.
I fling my belongings to the winds
burn letters to ash
under a full moon
merciless and unforgiving
remembrances now hollow and thin
like abandoned trees.
I lay waste to the past
cauterizing
my rotted flesh.
I must be buoyant and
aerodynamic.

I weep
only because of the smoke.

I urge the months on quickly
seasons to pass expeditiously.
I’ve had enough of deaths.
This year
I lay my barren womb
and stubborn ghosts to rest.

Next year
I will have come back to life
my essence revived
resurrected from ash
by the sun.

Next year
I will be
phoenix.

© S. Rinderle, 11/1/15