What we say to the grieving

We want to pry the lump from their throats.

We say, “my condolences.”


I am sorry for your flower

withered. Your bird



The grass is burnt.

Leaves scattered with broken

bird houses. Snow melted

months ago. We say:


I heard that song on the radio

that one with her name.


The grieved smiles,

per social contract.

We smile too

and say:


I remember

when she was a girl

the sweetest thing, so beautiful.

Kind and generous.


We stare at sorrow bolted

in smokeless chests,

have only ice water.


Mary Christine Kane is a marketing professional and poet who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her poetry has been appeared in numerous publications including Burner Magazine, OVS Magazine, the Vermillion Literary Project journal and is forthcoming in Right Here Right Now, The Buffalo Anthology.

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