By Jena Woodhouse


Grieving seldom comes

clean from the bone,

though women who keen

sublimate the mundane

in their terrible song;

but for those such as I

there’s the gangrene

of action elided

and gestures betrayed

into stasis; journeys

deferred, and lines

never spoken, except

in rehearsal

rooms of the brain.


What is not named,

never done, left unsewn

must somehow be pieced

into something I own:

a mendicant gown

or the ghost of a shawl

she once wore as a statement

of undisclosed pain –



Focus of poem:

This poem is from a longer sequence that alludes to the mythology of the mother-daughter relationship as epitomised by Demeter and Persephone.