A Widow’s Purse

She carries her private hell

The way most women carry a purse.

Grief stays with its owner. It

Could creep into conversation,

But what’s the point in

Laying out the contents?

What’s she to do—spill it

All over the grocery store counter?

Across the boardroom table?

Her private hell, like a purse,

Is always close at hand.

It’s become a part of her.

She may leave it for a bit, but

She won’t get far without it.

Someday, maybe she’ll invest

in something new.

But, it will never be the same.

This private hell, this grief

Opens to her alone.

Friends and family

Have their own, but

This one seems to grow and

Pull with weight upon her shoulder,

Distracting her from basic tasks and duties.

While other women claim to have similar

They slip hands inside, pull out

Lipstick and smooth it on, but

The widow’s private purse,

It’s scary to look inside,

Nothing pretty to apply.

Yet, she’s desperate not

To leave or forget it.

That purse once held



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