Triathlon of Grief

by Carolin Messier

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Just tears on a page
that’s what all this scribbling is
scratched out in graphite,
barely legible
as my unsteady hand,
trembling from sobs,
moves across the lines
from left to right
smudging each stroke as I go,
the messy consistency
in a life ripped open.

Just tears on a page
as the losses rack up
one on two on three
each one connected to the others
through knotted threads
that pull and twist,
contort and contract
my gut, my heart, my throat
until the screams come
the wailing, primal screams
mostly when I’m driving
as I feel the absurdity of that
the slap in the face,
the contrast of
of caring and neglect.

And so I walk more
and run and swim
and push the pedals of my bike
until my legs burn
and I can barely breathe
almost like dying, but not
I don’t give up that easily
not since I reached
the surface of the lake
when I was 17.

And so I walk more
and run and swim
and push the pedals of my bike
until I reach the surface
until I breathe and fly
not away, just fly
out of the viscous heaviness
of doubled grief and confusion
until the wind fills my ears,
fills my head,
and carries my thoughts with it
and I push on
trying to leave behind “why?”.