no one ever told me
how expensive grief was
forget the casket, the headstone, and the funeral home
i mean the actual day-to-day cost
of living with death.
therapy certainly isn’t free
but that’s not what i mean either.
i mean the toys, the bows, the ribbons,
the baubles, the baby rattles, the blankies —
gifts that are meant for little girls
that are alive
that i insist on giving
to the cold earth instead.
(friends around me consider
whether they should get that new dress or new pair of shoes
i do not have any new dresses or new pairs of shoes).
sometimes i wonder
if i’m just wasting my money
and teetering on the edge of insanity
i think these things
as i walk down the hill at the cemetery,
to see Tinsley,
a colorful new Easter wreath in hand.
i see another mom
offering a small stuffed bunny
to a cold gray gravestone
and am assured that the value
of mothering children,
in any way you can,
is worth more
than any bank account could hold.
Early spring snow
has ruined Tinsley’s wreath.
So I will just buy another one.