I Thought To Shake Him Out of His Grief
by Florence Weinberger

  1. He’d taken up painting weekends,
  2. I thought it was salient, he wouldn’t try therapy,
  3. wouldn’t take pills, wouldn’t smoke grass or join a support group;
  4. maybe getting an old sadness down on canvas
  5. would tamp down the dreams that broke his sleep.
  1. At first he copied, then went abstract,
  2. and then came the hunched-over bodies, the bleached-white spaces.
  3. I thought to shake him out of his grief.
  4. I thought he’d find relief in happier themes, and I said so, and so
  5. he stopped painting.
  1. Later, I found one he never finished.
  2. Two figures, male and female, barefoot, embracing, their heads
  3. nearly touching, their backs to the viewer,
  4. appear to be walking toward the sea or into the sea, it’s hard to tell,
  5. and all these years I’ve walked behind them. Turn around,
    I say to them, so I can see your faces.
Packingtown Review – Vol.10, Spring 2018

Four times nominated for a Pushcart, Florence Weinberger has published four books of poetry, a fifth, Ghost Tattoo, forthcoming from Tebot Bach. Her poems have appeared in Calyx, Rattle, River Styx, Ellipsis, Poet Lore, Comstock Review, Nimrod, Cider Press Review, Poetry East and numerous anthologies. In 2012, she served as a judge for the PEN Center USA Literary Contest. Florence was a contributor to Volume 6 of Packington Review.

  1. John Walser