The Worm has turned,
the little fucker,
to spinning silk,
though once bloodsucker,
And I am in God’s Glory here,
A pantheon of pain and fear,
of passion pulsing through my veins,
I can hardly hold the reins!
I am in my element,
with the Worm,
the little gent,
Flailing, flinging, flying prose,
Spinning out my worldly woes,
Under everybody’s nose,
A rose! A rose! A rose!
I’m about to be let loose, run wild,
They took the woman, took the child,
left me standing in their place,
If I were them I’d pray for grace,
beg for mercy, salvation sweet,
such horrors of the hands and feet,
Makers they’re about to meet.
Subject to my wicked thorn,
I’m about to be reborn.
Stronger than I’ve ever been.
Roll away the stone again.
Sift me out from beneath the dirt so cold,
Burn my bones in flames of gold,
Return me to a body new.
Oh, what a little Worm can do.
This poem was written about the death of my beloved grandmother. My grandmother could be counted on. The older I’ve gotten the more of realized how few people like that one gets in a lifetime. I wanted to scream for her. I wanted to rage for her like she never would have for herself. She’d have never used the f-word. I might not have used it much then either. I could no longer contain my own emotions. I could feel her leaving the world and I wanted to do something for her but all I could do was let her go. She believed in the resurrection. In the last few days, I’ve found myself praying again. I’ve realized no matter how much I try to abandon my faith, (and I’ve tried pretty hard sometimes) it doesn’t abandon me. I know if there is a heaven, my grandparents are there.
I’ve learned something about grief. When my grandparents died seven months apart, the pain of losing them was incomprehensible. But I thought it would pass. I thought, eventually, I’ll “forget.” What I’ve learned is, those big ones, the grief doesn’t ever completely go away. I don’t fight what that loss feels like anymore. Grief like that becomes a part of a person, it becomes something one learns to live with. And that’s okay. It is a marker of the importance of the presence this incredible woman held in my life. This poem was written fifteen years ago, it’s still palpable. I included it in the book “Winsome Vein.”
The Vacant Plot, March 1, 2005