Little Grief, by Sheila Black

By Sheila Black

I feed you warm milk from a dropper.  All night
whinge and moan.
You make a lousy guest—shred the furniture
piss on the rug.
The neighbors gaze at you askance, but I can’t
stop listening to you whistle, in and out
like the conversation the river has with itself, as night
burbles on and on, song
that might almost be a silence--large as a gift, sparkly
as a tree in ice.
(And why must I believe chill makes the world a glass?)
I resist believing in the accident of origin—the grain
in the shell around which a shimmering globe takes form,
but I can picture so clearly the mess of your birth,
the floor of straw, the slick around
a body—why I clutch at you, my purse
of pens, my sack of ash.
Little Grief, little grief.  Who is ever cherished enough?