Shaina Clingempeel

grief, I turn it plum-sized
& swallow
but it blooms in the body
as I sit here
the last time I sit here
studying each azalea petal
from this broken bench
on the front porch
of my childhood home
separating photo, frame
photo, frame
dismantling a life, lives
with these hands
having finally cleared
enough space to see
what looms in the now
loose kitchen drawer
I wedge against my hip
until my insides spill out
like spare cutlery too
which is to say
father, I miss you



Shaina Clingempeel runs a small book editing business and lives in NYC with her husband. Currently, she is writing a poetry chapbook that studies the nature of death and how we deal with the immensity of that knowledge. She earned her Poetry MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Poems of hers can be found in Crab Fat Magazine, The Rupture, The Westchester Review, The Heartland Review, Free State Review,  and other places.