Ambiguous Loss

Ceilidh Barlow Cash

It feels like holding a bird in one hand
and a bowling ball in the other.

At a caregivers support group, the facilitator
wears a grinch-green jacket

and leaves the discussion group twice
to vomit, audibly, in the next room.

I’m pregnant, she apologizes,
then folds herself back into her chair.

She names the bird & bowling ball phenomenon.
The only two others at the meeting,

two thin, bird-like wives of men
who suffered strokes

twenty years ago
fold their papery hands

on the linoleum table,
and clear their throats.