Grievers Holiday, by Arika Elizenberry

Grievers Holiday
by Arika Elizenberry

To my fellow grievers who cringe
during Valentine’s Day, fake smile
at Thanksgiving, and cry in the bathroom
during Christmas–who grind their teeth
at birthday cards and call in sick on
anniversaries, let it out and grieve
for yourself! Give yourself permission
to bleed red and blue and gray all over
the incomplete canvas to soak up your
neglected portrait. Leave work early,
the night before your husband’s birthday,
and slip away for the weekend in the cabin
he loved. Turn on your vinyl records, dim
the lights, and cry to your wife’s once favorite
love songs. Laugh at the cheesy jokes your
uncle always told, if, for no other reason than
to remember him. Journey to the center of your
body, between your chest and stomach, and pop
all the pent up confusion and misery. Be angry
at the universe, God, or your loved ones themselves.
And be as loud as the day you were born. Let the
tears cleanse your soul and shine like the stars your
mother enjoyed gazing at. Whether your grief
straddles age or decades, travels oceans and
continents, or leaps from Spring to Fall, when
you need to retreat venture to grievers holiday.

Arika Elizenberry is from Las Vegas, Nevada and is a poet and short story writer. She holds an A.A. in Creative Writing and is currently working on her B.A. in English.

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