A poem begins with a lump in the throat by Roseanne Freed

A poem begins with a lump in the throat
                                                   —after Robert Frost

Sunday will be six weeks
since our daughter died.
A date. Not a celebration.
My mouth eats without hunger.
My pillow forgets how to sleep.
Mail piles up on the table—
six issues of The New Yorker
lie unopened.

People of the Lakota tribe believe
a grieving person is holy
because we’re closer to the spirit world
and inhale a natural wisdom
with our sorrow.

I don’t feel holy,
or wise.

I put her pictures all over the house.
Her father calls them ghosts.

They comfort me.


Roseanne Freed was born in South Africa and now lives in Los Angeles. She loves hiking and shares her fascination for the natural world by leading school children on hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. Her poetry has been published in Contrary Magazine, Verse-Virtual, and Blue Heron Review.