We’re told to prepare ourselves, as though death is an exam we must pass. When the question is grief, there are no right or wrong answers. How do I study for your absence? I will not squander my time sandbagging and stockpiling for a storm still gathering strength. It is your comfort, your transition I will cushion and ease. Not my own. I know what waits for me on the other side of your final breath. Even so, I will not fortify my future with a mature acceptance of your departure, planted and grown before you are harvested. Maybe your death will be a test, but I refuse to waste even a moment prepping for such an impossible examination. After you pass, I will fail without regret.
Bekah Steimel is a poet whose work has been published globally. Recent poems have appeared in Impossible Archetype, Paper and Ink Zine, and Memoryhouse Magazine. She lives in St. Louis, MO (USA) and can be found online at bekahsteimel.com.