The dead thing mashed into the street the crows are squabbling over isn't her, nor are their raucous squawks the quiet cawing from her throat those final hours she couldn't speak. But the racket irks him. It seems a cruel intrusion into grief so mute it will never be expressed no matter how loud or long the wailing he might do. Nor could there be a word that won't debase it, no matter how kind or who it comes from. She knew how much he loved her. That must be his consolation when he must talk to buy necessities. Every place will be a place without her. What people will see when they see him pushing a shopping cart or fetching mail is just a neatly dressed polite old man.
From New and Selected Poems by Michael Ryan. Copyright © 2004 by Michael Ryan. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.