The first time I encountered her, I was still a child.
hardly recognizable, she was an ethereal mist, a cool breeze who caused my insides to shutter
she was a disorienting darkness that upset the tangible world of my existence;
what once was, was no longer.
throughout my youth she’d visit again: a beloved pet, a first love, a childhood friend.
oh, how it ached; I thought she’d kill me or perhaps drive me insane,
but I learned that no such relief would come.
as we became acquainted, she became more recognizable.
always coming in like the tide,
with waves that would crash down, disturbing the peaceful sands,
carving small canals into the flesh and scarring the land.
I began to hate her.
white-knuckled, with strained screams of why into the empty canyon,
would only return the faint and futile echo: “why, why, why.”
I thought if I fought her, she would let me be.
but I discovered what the soldiers and crusaders had already seen: she cannot be conquered.
I thought if I fled, she would let me be.
but I discovered what the drunkards and addicts had already seen: she cannot be outrun.
I thought if I understood her, she would let me be.
but I discovered what the scholars and philosophers had already seen: she cannot be outsmarted.
so I turned toward her.
I wrap myself in her cool cloak and ease myself to the ground
she steadies my trembling knees and somehow keeps me warm
as I look more intently, she is not as wicked as she once appeared
in fact, she is quite beautiful; she is merely the shadow of true love,
her name is Grief.