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What Women Do To Grieve – Poetry by Georgina Marie

Wake up, see the day,
know it is there.

Drink rose tea.

Remember the one you love has died.

Proceed to crumbling on the bedroom floor.

Remember the world is alive.

Pick yourself up from the bedroom floor.
Drag yourself outside.

Stare at the moon.

Walk through mud.

Remember the last time you found yourself
knee deep in mud
with your sister laughing hysterically
as you drowned in solid matter.

Remember she isn’t here anymore.

Find yourself on the ground
weeping into the Earth.

Repeat 800 times until you encounter a day
where the pain doesn’t feel physical.
That day never comes.

So the days are comforted with books,
with bird watching out of your bedroom window
where the oak trees open their long, pure of heart arms
to all species
and to you as a witness.

Attempt to make yourself nourishing meals.

Attempt to fall in love with the world again.

Attempt to resist the sensation that all of your bones
have shattered and now reside in your heart,
hard and bitter.

Acknowledge that if you don’t survive this,
you will still have lived through the fuchsia petals of poetry
because once you are written down
you can’t be rescinded.

Be comforted with the fact that the warm fur
of your canine companion is tear resistant,
that it will never turn away from your soaking wet of despair.

Remember, when the silver survival of another day
has coated the cracks in your body,
asks for your hand,
politely begs you to make it to another day

say yes
say yes.

Georgina Marie Guardado

Georgina Marie Guardado is the Poet Laureate of Lake County, CA for 2020-2024, the first Mexican-American and youngest to serve in this role, and a Poets Laureate Fellow with The Academy of American Poets. She is a contributing writer for Antioch University’s Common Thread News, President of the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, and Literacy Program Coordinator for the Lake County Library. As of 2021, she serves as President of WordSwell, a literary journal and nonprofit organization founded by Bay Area Beat poet Clive Matson. As part of the Broken Nose Collective, an annual chapbook exchange, she created her first poetry chapbook, Finding the Roots of Water, in 2018 and her second chapbook, Tree Speak, in 2019. She has received support from the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Hugo House, and SF Writing Salon. Her work has appeared in The Bloom, Noyo Review, Poets.org, Humble Pie Magazine, Gulf Coast Journal, Yellow Medicine Review, The Muleskinner Journal, Colossus: Freedom, and Two Hawks Quarterly. She lives with her rescue dogs Kenya and Micco and her formerly feral cat Mistie, and is currently working on her full-length poetry manuscript, The Length of Trauma Covets.

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