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Grief, Lethargy and OCD 

I look at my raised feet beefy with squish
Purple-skin design with lizard like texture
Aching from too much pacing.

I can't seem to level this Mount Everest of fatigue
With the right amount of sleep
Not to mention getting rid of the malaise and dead wood brain
I 've found the bottom of the slimy swamp
I need help

I call my friend Dana who manages to mouth wisdom
 -the missing link
"That's what grief will do to you" she said.
A hot flush of tickles sweeps down my neck
And finds the crack in the teapot
Either draining the life out or letting the light in
I can't decide which- maybe both

Fifteen months counting bodies, selling shots,
Making masks as if they were a World War II victory garden
pleading with the reluctant ones to wear masks
tethered to an imaginary six-foot leash of separation
I accept this coarse blunt description as I say it to myself.

When I see the vast mosaic of thousands of faces
Whirling around the inside of a kaleidoscope like
Small crystals, all dead.
Or them drowning in their own secretions alone
As the Still Living peer through the window
Stunned to see the machines convert to flat lines...
If I feel that horror, taste that liquor of extinction...
My heart falls silent unable to thump

The fatigue dulls the threat for a while
The body registers ebbing tides of energy
That's when the robot kicks in
Make the bed, no dirty dishes ever in the sink,
Two loads of washing- vacuum, vacuum, vacuum
Devise 10 new ways to cook oatmeal
And the tiny toy train circles the little living room tracks
Faster, faster, faster

Grief lives like robust bread dough
Punch it down but it pops up again and again
Can I let the grief out?
Will I evaporate?

Colleen Broderick

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Colleen Broderick

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