I shave my head.

I once gave myself

Three markers

For grief–

Shaving my hair was the second monument.

I don’t want to get to the last. 

Thomas Jefferson once said

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot

No one ever talks about how hard it is to tie a knot while dangling at the end of a rope.

What will I do when I get to that third thing? That last strike?

The world is full

Of third strikes

So I am bare. A week ago I was bald. Suddenly empathetic to the plight

Of the chemo patient, men with pattern baldness

Bare.

Grief is bare, bald like a newborn, humble, helpless…

Marked.

For the sake of the children I tell people I shaved my hair for Lent.  I do not mention all these private griefs.

You cannot eat what ifs 

You cannot wrap illusions around

Your naked

Self in the storm

You can only 

Squint across the water

And say

When it comes

I will put the stones of remembrance

Here

Here

And here

For the girl I used be

And the ones I hold 

So dear

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