On a Sister’s Grief by Emily Pruitt

If only our Styrofoam couch could grow flowers

that could absorb the tears that wash off my mom’s face /

Less waste / Less space to get lost in /

they could bloom to allow the dust

bunnies to grow underneath my mom /


Her sister is dead / Grief is her house pet /


It cuddles her at night

and wraps around her head with

black indulgence / headaches and swollen eyes in the morning /


I asked my mom to describe it / she said:

It smells like lilacs /

wears spotted leopard shirts /


it almost has her eyes /


Knowing this, I hunt Grief /


and I trap

Sympathy slipping around the funeral home /

shadows of Regret at holidays /

and even Frustration leaning against our chipping door frame

to watch Grief curl around my mom /


But Grief wants nothing to do with me.




Emily Pruitt is a student at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She works as a waitress where she collects all her best material on the shared human experience. Her poetry can be found scribbled on old menus later featured proudly on the Pruitt Family Fridge.