When you are grieving, sweep the porch.
Sweep the walk.
Shake the mat.
Flick chips of bark.
Gather gravel (from the driveway, where there are no cars now, except yours).
Sweeping slows time.
See what has gathered at your feet:
flower petals, leaves, seeds, husks,
and one black feather.
These will make a good nest for your sorrow.
See each item as it was in life
and as it is now. A curved rind
of snail shell rocks to its edge.
Backlit striations catch the sun
as the empty spiral tilts toward the light.
The hermit crab of your heart
tries it on for size
and it fits.
(Oh!) such shelter under this smooth arc,
safe in its miniscule lee,
waiting for rain.
In time the homeless heart
extends itself again
beyond the shell’s chipped ridges.
it flows over uneven terrain:
in the soft, inexplicable air.