Esther Griffin
Professor & Writer


Grief lives in the dark corners of dreams.
It hides in the folds of dusty, drawn curtains.
Leaves its mark, like a water stain
on row upon row of hardwood flooring.

It nests in the lower back,
curling around jagged vertebrae.
Fingernails pierce, like small syringes
into spinal fluid.

It waits on your pillow case.
Presses creases into tired cheeks.
Its etchings deep, like that moment
of waking to the certainty of loss.

The room cool out of covers,
and the sun refusing to rise.

© Esther Griffin
Honourable Mention, Open Heart 8: Anthology of Canadian Poetry, 2012, The Ontario Poetry Society


I must have dreamed that
transcendent dissolve

draped across your backwards bed
chin chafed and damp thighs

The serried icicles stretched
outside your windows

and a sentry of trees
pressed shoulder to shoulder

hiding us from our many realities
that existed separate

From that moment transitory 

like our footprints
beneath falling snow

© Esther Griffin
From Verse Afire, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2011

Granville Market

Reunited we walk – through
your morning world

that long, windy length
to Granville market – you pause

on the bridge, pointing
to the False Creek

then continue on
We follow – in the trail
of your mysterious words

intertwine our hopes into their meaning
try to understand your privacy of decades

it’s been 25 years since
your precarious elopement of mind

At the coffee stand – your hand
struggles with obdurate coins
in your tattered, corduroy pocket

I see you: you’re real
a distraction of gulls
frames you in my mind

replaces the apertures of memory

© Esther Griffin
Honourable Mention, Winsome Words Anthology, 2012, The Ontario Poetry Society

Writers’ Canopy
Alma de Hatillo, Costa Rica

Crowded together in comfort,
our pens stretch across paper.

Our minds open –
like vibrant feathers to the sky,
as we adorn our pages.

We hear only our inner voices,
murmurs of contentment, of sorrow.
The sough of poetry being born.

Our symbols join together,
forming words from silence.
Sentences from solitude.

Our cursive lines connect us
under this canopy of birds’ song.

© Esther Griffin
LCP National Poetry Month 2013