The Stages

by Em E. Lee about a year ago in sad poetry

Grief is a familiar thing.

The Stages
"Drooping Flower Drawn in Crayon", painted by Em E. Lee in Clip Studio Paint

My only word: No.

My only action: a slow shake of the head.

I stutter, I stumble

As the clichés ring in my brain:

“This can’t be happening…”

“It’s not fair! It’s not fair!”

“Please, you can’t leave me…”

You won’t leave me.

It begins as nothing; just a growl, sitting in my gut before it blossoms into a roar.

It tears its way through my chest, wisps of flame licking at my aching heart.

It boils—it bubbles—

Till at last it bursts into an inferno.

I can still save you. I can enter the blue box; pull the huge switch—

I can be good to you and feed you and read to you

And be the greatest friend you could’ve hoped for—I am not letting go—and

I can help I can help I can help I can help I can—

No. Never.

I can’t. You can’t. They can’t.


You are gone.

Nothing—I feel it.

The flame. Dead. My spirit. Almost.

I drift. Can’t think. The iron grip. It has me.

I’m. So. Numb.

And then it clears away. Melancholy steps in

Pulling me into her arms, letting me feel again.

And she speaks with your voice:

“I’m here, I’m here.”

I see it now: you’re an immortal,

Never yet forever here.

Staring down from above,

Or simply standing near.

I have the memories–

The Joy, the Sad—the Good, the Bad.

I clutch them till my knuckles are white—

I am never letting go—

And so you leave,

Trailing spring blossom scents as you depart.

Though you should not fear for me—while there’s still a touch of heaviness,

The worst of the beast, it is gone.

sad poetry
Em E. Lee
Em E. Lee
Read next: Poem: New Life
Em E. Lee

Writer-of-all-trades and self-appointed "professional" nerd with an infinite supply of story ideas and not nearly enough time to write them down. Lover of all media, especially fiction and literature. Proud advocate of the short story.

See all posts by Em E. Lee