I measure every Grief I meet, by Emily Dickinson

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes -
I wonder if It weighs like Mine -
Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long -
Or did it just begin -
I could not tell the Date of Mine -
It feels so old a pain -

I wonder if it hurts to live -
And if They have to try -
And whether - could They choose between -
It would not be - to die -

I note that Some - gone patient long -
At length, renew their smile -
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil -

I wonder if when Years have piled -
Some Thousands - on the Harm -
That hurt them early - such a lapse
Could give them any Balm -

Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve -
Enlightened to a larger Pain -
In Contrast with the Love -

The Grieved - are many - I am told -
There is the various Cause -
Death - is but one - and comes but once -
And only nails the eyes -

There's Grief of Want - and grief of Cold -
A sort they call "Despair" -
There's Banishment from native Eyes -
In sight of Native Air -

And though I may not guess the kind -
Correctly - yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary -

To note the fashions - of the Cross -
And how they're mostly worn -
Still fascinated to presume
That Some - are like my own -