All in by Dayna Patterson

by Dayna Patterson

Grief wolfed me from the inside gnawed my

spine and I could roll over and suffer or dig a

pit and bait it flay the beast on my marriage

bed I chose the shovel I chose the hunter’s

knife to slit grief scrotum to throat and no I

didn’t know I took a murderer as husband

and please keep in mind married so long I’d

acquired the habit of twoness two minds two

crowns two pairs of eyes the worst word in

any language alone 

                                           and letting go I felt 

formal as a stone splitting and a brother-in-

law’s suit was a solution to my un-halving

yes frailty if frail is to bury my dead and seize

fruit growing over the grave and if I had to

do it again perhaps Polonius this time yes

even in his fussy grandiloquence I tell you

remarriage would’ve still been overhasty still

a thorn to my son still this old heart’s



Dayna Patterson's creative work has appeared recently in Hotel Amerika, So to Speak, Western Humanities Review, and Zone 3. She is a former managing editor of Bellingham Review, founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre, and poetry editor for Exponent II Magazine. She is a co-editor (with Tyler Chadwick and Martin Pulido) of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry (Peculiar Pages, 2018). Connect with her at: