Today, I Was Told to Celebrate My Grief

An image near the roots of a tree, where a small door has been nestled into a gap in the roots.

Did I tell you the neighbors are growing a spring sidewalk garden? They leave out sheers for the street to pick their own bouquets. The little boy with the bowl cut has started leaving notes at the fairy door we painted, offerings of finger-stained printer paper, and sweaty magnolias.

I haven’t planted any bulbs this year because I don’t know if you are perennial. I stopped buying lilies because of the kitten, and my hair hasn’t grown daffodils in a long time.

Everywhere I go, I see lemons, small citrus trees, satsumas, buddha’s hands, calamansi. I have a canker sore from all the orange juice you left in the fridge.

Do you remember when we let my dog steal berries from the raspberry bush, stain his beard a summer red? We wore the leftover spoils on each of our fingers like little gnome hats, and tasted sun from one another’s hands.

I sent you strawberry seeds in the mail. I imagine them staining your lips the color of my lipstick, lacquered berry, high gloss fresh. But they won’t crop till next year, and by then, the drugstore may not sell my shade of red.


An image of Hannah Yerington, a person with long brown hair and glasses looking directly into the camera with a neutral expression.

Hannah Yerington is a poet, a Jewish Arts educator, and the director of the Bolinas Poetry Camp for Girls. Her work has been published in Nixes Mates, Alma, and Olney, among others. She is an MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University. She writes about many things including talking flowers, post-memory, and the occasional seal.