The 2016 Literary Supplement

Five Stages of Grief

Poetry ❖ Written by : Claire Avisar

Step One:
sit alone at your kitchen table,
wonder if his leaving her
has anything to do with you,
and assure yourself you could have fixed
the breaks in the phone line
with enough coats of blue-tack
or two tin cans and the world’s longest piece of twine.

Step Two:
yell at the fridge
because you are angry that it still works,
fight with your dog
about the weather and about the dirt
on her paws, even though
she’s really just doing her best,
and yell at the rain because you wish it were snow.

Step Three:
if only she had waited,
if only he had told her and clearly stated,
if only time passed the same way to two people.

Step Four:
open the fridge—
not because you’re hungry
and mostly because it’s a habit—
pile rice pudding into a bowl
that is the exact same bland shade,
stare at the raisins and wonder if they feel depressed,
realize you feel akin to the raisins in the rice pudding you have made.

Step Five:
accept that both good and bad things come to an end,
write a note-to-self saying you hope things get better soon,
eat rice pudding until you forget to pretend,
and wonder what Obama does when he’s alone in a room.