by Meggie Royer
Which is to say that sometimes grief is both the story & the knife,
& the road moves both deep & dark,
that upon opening the front door for the morning milk you might,
in fact, wish your life were somewhat different than it is.
The other whales took turns carrying the dead child’s body
until bone came to meet bone,
until breath met salt & then the sea.
Imagine if what haunts could be divided
into something easier to manage, a daughter towing
a mother’s burden, a child taking on the name of a parent—
the feeling of missing a step on the stairs,
or the first drink after a long period of abstinence,
the way the stars ribbon outwards
across a violet stretch of sky.
Meggie Royer is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Persephone's Daughters, a literary and arts journal for abuse survivors. She has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for the 2019 Princemere Poetry Prize. Royer's poetry has been published in Plain China: National Anthology of the Best Undergraduate Writing, The Rumpus, The Minnesota Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and more. More of her writing and artwork can be found at https://meggieroyer.com/.