Troubles come in threes
and fours and fives
and tens
and higher
and sometimes not at all, for hours on end, or days entire.

Sometimes a bird mistakes your picture window
for an expanse of sky
and smacks to the ground, shakes himself out,
then hops into the juniper to die.

His air-light body lies in paper towel,
carried to the swayle to rest under a mess of leaves.
So many dead: The tree whose carcass forms this Bounty.
The chickadee. Your father, ashes.

But volume neither guarantees reprieve
nor entitles lavish gifts as compensation.
Griefs rarely pace their lashes–
they can only train you to the blows,
carve out a space for agony sensation.
Thus woes drop into a wider, kinder room,
each loss a guest, unwelcome, naked,
whom you may shelter in a scarred but beating heart
regardless of population.