SYMPTOMS OF GRIEF | Sallie McCann Tupper


grief appears in the body
as much as in the spirit.
first a patient may notice
the heart and stomach 
sag with the condensate
of accumulated exhaustion,
fear, and sadness.

at critical mass,
it starts to drip drop into the lungs,
wherefore the torso spasms, spurting them upward,
out of the fountain of one’s eyes,

and this is how grief exits the body.

a patient may notice that while
one round of distilling and purging
is constructive, even cleansing,
it can take many rinses until
the water runs clear.
a patient wishing for total healing
should expect to rinse and repeat,
rinse and repeat,
rinse and repeat;
as many times as necessary.



Sallie McCann Tupper and her husband enjoy living in Lancaster City with a community of friends. You can find Sallie spending time outside in her garden or in the woods, observing neighborhood animals, organizing her whole house, or cooking delicious food. She reads and writes fervently, and finds it almost impossible to read a good book without underlining and dog-earing the best parts. She writes poems to underline and dog-ear the small and sacred moments of life. Find more of her work on Instagram — @sallie_mccanntupper.