Guest Poem by Rosie Jackson

ROSIE JACKSON’s recent collections are Two Girls and a Beehive: Poems about Stanley Spencer (with Graham Burchell, 2020), Aloneness is a Many-Headed Bird (with Dawn Gorman, 2020) and Light Makes it Easy (2021) which was nominated for the Pushcart prize. Love Leans Over the Table will be published by Two Rivers Press in 2023. Her many awards include 1st prize Poetry Teignmouth 2021, 3rd prize Kent and Sussex 2022.

Grief: A User’s Guide

Follow the instructions carefully. Do not use your grief
for purposes other than the one for which it is intended.
Extreme caution must be taken.

Lift your grief, do not drag. If you find any resistance,
cut into pieces. Gently shake if necessary.
Ensure the grief is vented away from you.

Your grief is fitted with a quick release mechanism.
Never force your grief and especially do not
apply force to the open/close switch.

Excess grief should be safely and gently released
through the hole in the top.
Do not allow flames to speed up the sides.

Do not let children near your grief.
In the unlikely event of grief reaching higher levels
than normal, the safety device will operate.

Check to ensure there are no additional splits, tears or cracks.
Do not stand in water. Avoid adding salt to your grief,
as this may result in pitting. If necessary, tighten.

You might try vinegar, lemon juice, or apple peeling.
Avoid excessive pressure. Avoid scourers.
Never use bleach to clean your grief.

If you need help, please contact us. Your grief
is guaranteed to last for twelve months
under normal use. Bodies cannot be repaired.