I Measure Every Grief by Emily Dickinson

by Vanessa

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, Eyes –
I wonder if It weighs like Mine –
Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long –
Or did it just begin –
I could not tell the Date of Mine –
It feels so old a pain –

I wonder if it hurts to live –
And if They have to try –
And whether — could They choose between –
It would not be — to die –

I note that Some — gone patient long –
At length, renew their smile –
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil –

I wonder if when Years have piled –
Some Thousands — on the Harm –
That hurt them early — such a lapse
Could give them any Balm –

Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve –
Enlightened to a larger Pain –
In Contrast with the Love –

The Grieved — are many — I am told –
There is the various Cause –
Death — is but one — and comes but once –
And only nails the eyes –

There’s Grief of Want — and Grief of Cold –
A sort they call “Despair” –
There’s Banishment from native Eyes –
In sight of Native Air –

And though I may not guess the kind –
Correctly — yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary –

To note the fashions — of the Cross –
And how they’re mostly worn –
Still fascinated to presume
That Some — are like My Own –

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