Category Archives: Death of a Loved One

Wooden Heart

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Wooden Heart

We often wash our minds clean here on memory lane,
so what was a dark portrait is illumined once again.

Daily random memories wash up on the shore

while sadder associations stand waiting by the door.

I do not choose remembering the dark spots in our past.

It is the brighter moments that I prefer to last.

The heart I formed from copper, the heart you carved of wood.

All the broken contracts healed by all the good.

Love stories come in fits and starts and so it was with ours—
we must choose our final endings by our selective powers

to decide what we will sift from memory’s fine sand,

and though the bitter moments haven’t been fully banned,

I daily choose the moments that I will remember—

that March day when our love was young, not your final September.

 

When I met Bob, he was teaching art in Canyon Country, California. One day he brought me this pouch necklace he had made of leather in class. Inside was a wooden heart with his initial on one side and my initial on the other. Yes. I had to marry the man. Later, with his encouragement, I became a metalsmith and formed this heart out of copper for him. The pouch now also contains a lock of his hair, a lock of mine, a miniature bar of chocolate–his favorite food on earth–and a tiny dinosaur carved by one of his small sons in the studio where he worked with his dad. When I admired it, he gave it to me, just as Bob gave to me the family he brought with him when we married.

 

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Prompts today are memory lane, daily, dark, portrait and wash.

Parts of Him

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Parts of Him

You look so like him on our passing—
that strongly muscled arm,
his hair brushing your shoulder,
but you do not have his charm.

Your hands curl in a gesture
so familiar in its kind,
but they do not form the magic
his hands mold within my mind.

Your smile is so like his—
that chortle when you laugh—
but I see you cannot be him
as we pass upon the path.

Your stance is his, your bearing
when I see you from afar.
It’s just as we draw nearer
I see who you really are.

These long years since his passing,
I still look for him in places
where in the crowds I search him out
in unsuccessful faces.

Each similar demeanor
reaches out a tentacle
to draw me to a likeness
that, alas, is not identical.

The prompt today is identical.

Love Stories

 

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What fewer love stories there would be if we could see their endings—so many middles of romances left unread by those who read their last pages first. When I remember each past first kiss, it is in a mirror half obscured by the future reflected in it. One love is forever caught underwater where it gasps for air. Another is ashes floating out in rings to touch the edges of a lake which is shrinking inward from its banks, as though in complicity to aid their settling along its edges. Another lies in small droplets of blood on a road where it was ambushed, too late to be a message of anything but regret for love that died before the lover and a lover who died too soon. There are all these deaths of loves—like a class for the unfortunates who, kept in after school, are made to trace their lines again and again in the belief that love is taught by repetition and that wisdom comes from practice.

 

Nosegay

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Nosegay

The faint trace
of ashes and cardamom
sing in the air
you used to pass through.
They fit into my memory
 in their accustomed places,
your aroma lingering
years longer
than the touch of you.

 

The prompt today is faint.

Our Mother, Cloaked in Silence (Daily Post and dVerse Poets Rhyme Royal)

Our Mother, Cloaked in Silence

Although she was our portal to the world,
with little pageantry we laid her down.
No trumpets blared, the flags full mast unfurled,
for it was small, the realm of her renown.

And yet the limbs were bare, the whole world brown
as though the trees she planted all were lief
to shed their full green finery in their grief.

The prompt today was cloaked.  Also for the dVerse poets prompt, Rhyme Royal.The rhyme royal stanza consists of seven lines, (usually) in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme is  a-b-a-b, b-c-c. It was the standard narrative meter in the late Middle Ages.

Foreshadowing

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Foreshadowing

Why does the loveliest flower have the sharpest thorn
so you had to pay the tariff of young flesh pierced and torn
by the most splendid ornament that you had ever worn
as he clasped you to the music of the saxophone and horn?
It’s been true each day you’ve lived, was true when you were born,
and your father brought fresh roses—your bedside to adorn.
And it will go on being true on that future morn
when roses will be carried by those saddened and forlorn
as they place your ashes where you’ve asked that they be borne:
back to that same rose bush that so long ago was shorn
of the roses that you carried when your wedding vows were sworn.

 

 

The prompt today is thorny.

Burning Your Journals

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Burning your Journals

Who knew fidelity’s even stance
could be mitigated by circumstance?
That a subtle smile, perchance,
exchanged between you at her advance
would wind up in a swift romance
that flourished in that small expanse
between us and her winsome glance.

Who knew that you would go freelance
when love became our ritual dance?
And that I, still in loving’s trance,
would only learn it later, by chance.
Reading your words, caught twice askance.
First by your death, then grief enhanced
as I suffered loss anew
with this further death of you.

 

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The prompt word today was trance.