know the cold
until it grips you
from the inside
the freeze dried
madness of loss
here we all are
children of the
but always blindsided
if God is with us
where is his comfort?
how does his plan
for tiny babies
make any rational
why does faith leave
in these moments
when we need it
I pray, just the same
give my tears to
and beg for them to
bless the wings
of a new angel
but my heart breaks
for the lives she’s left
can she protect them
from her new home
in God’s kingdom?
I wondered if
you felt it too
that tidal moon
leaving us both
bereft of the drink
you do your daily chores
keeping up the
am I changing?
turning to vinegar
that honey wine
by all of the
I force myself to swallow
perhaps it is me
and my head
never quite in sync
to settle upon
searching for something
to give me
to keep me from
into the blackened acid
of my death
I am a fixer
upon my soul
but I cannot fix
what I cannot reach
have I spiraled too far?
can the sun save the moon?
with only minutes
to gaze at her
the moon must save
don’t let me pull you in
as I drown
in the angry dark
The sky rumbles. Villainous chuckles of fate superceding dreams, as I waited, willing the sky to cooperate but grateful for the taught canvas above my head.
The tent had meant borrowing against my 401k, but I’d been unable, or more unwilling to deny her the dream her first husband and lack of parents had refused her. A wedding, after all, is the most important day in a woman’s life.
One of them, I hoped.
It was an impressive sight. Forty feet wide and twice as long. Stillwater was the tent style. Or manufacture. I hadn’t been privy to all the details, only the rental invoice. I remember my stomach lurching when the pretty, strawberry blond printed our final order in the glamorous two story rental showroom after an hour of picking our tent, lighting package, table shapes and sizes, chairs and dishes and fabrics and colors. My head was still swimming, seven months later.
But rain did mean the garden ceremony would be moved into the house.
Thunder might mean we shouldn’t be under the massive tent as well. The installers had provided some warnings.
I ignored the memory prickling in the back of my mind.
Nothing would stop this day.
My phone buzzed, and as I fished it from the inside pocket of my tux, a second message was coming through.
I have handled the disjointed frustration of my mother who had wanted a doctor, but had raised an accountant. I’d dealt with the sadness of my college sweetheart when I’d said I didn’t want to marry her. I’d even muscled through the violent hatred of my first fiance when I realized she was never going to be mother material.
But Jenna’s disappointment was something I knew would crush me.
Please save the peonies We could line the hearth, couldn’t we?
My smile made my eyes close. I loved this women with a fury that caused a simple text about flowers to give me a hard on.
The flowers had been the only thing she could pay for, and she’d made every penny count. I didn’t get the fuss, but the way her face had lit up when we walked into that florist made understanding a frivolous thing.
It took the wedding planner all of twenty seconds to come up with a plan for them, and as she took them from my sweaty hands, I glanced around for what catastrophe I might stave of next.
It’s truly amazing how dark the world can become with heavy cloud cover. A summer storm is not an odd thing in July. And even as the wind picked up, I refused to worry.
Jenna was the most beautiful bride I’d ever been privy to see. Even as she bent over my punctured chest, rain smudged and tear stained, the shimmery white fabric of her dress wicking blood from the wound like tissue paper absorbing watercolors. She was exquisite.
I stood and watched her, rain pelting in from the side of the splintered tent.
I didn’t feel the lightening strike. I didn’t hear the snap of the pole at my back. I didn’t understand what had made my knees buckle as I turned around and watched myself fall.
It took more force than I’d expected. The blade was sharp, but even with my full strength behind it, I barely got four inches in.
That was enough. As he fought against it, it sliced deeper, and vibrated with each sinewy centimeter. He scratched and clawed at my arms, my neck, but I clung to the wooden handle, slick with the warm, wet life oozing out of him.
The air was thick and acrid, so I held my breath.
There was very little life left within me anyway.
I had died a little every day for the last fourteen years.
To Jodi – Thank you for letting me use this beautiful image. My heart is with you today. I know your grandma is smiling down on you and yours, from the gates of heaven. You will hug her again one day, and for eternity. ❤
Soft and faded from years of being beaten in the dryer, with holes around the arms and frayed edges, it is only ever worn during chores or dirty jobs.
It smells like him, this old blue t-shirt, even freshly laundered. Even if I’ve worn it the last dozen times. I hope it smells like him forever.
He looks at me sideways when I put it on. It’s His shirt. I just smirk because he never makes me to take it off.
I know he loves it. Maybe that is why I do, as well. It makes me feel close to him. It makes me feel like part of him. It makes me feel like His.
I’ve stopped wearing it but have it in my closet. I don’t know how much longer it has. It’s tattered and over worn. But it is perfect, and I don’t want it to disappear.
He asks about it, so I pull it out, not wanting to be deceitful, only wanting it to remain in tact.
He gazes at me with his pale, sad eyes, perplexed. I can’t explain it, it will sound morbid…
But he wants me to.
“It’s your favorite shirt. It has memories of you in every stitch. But it’s almost gone. And when you’re gone, I’ll need it… I don’t want it to disintegrate… before…”
He stares at me, steps close to me and reaches down for the hem of my short nightie, lifting it over my head. When he slides the old shirt down over my hair, I automatically pull my arms through the sleeves, gazing at him in wonder.
He takes my hand, then, pushing me towards the mirror, he wraps his arms around me from behind.
“You keep the shirt, sweet girl. When I’m gone, you will have it, but you won’t need it.”
He places his hand across my heart, over the super thin fabric that hangs from my breasts, unflatteringly. He whispers, low and sweet in my ear. “I’ll forever be inside here.”
He turns me to face him and grasps my head between his hands. “I’m in here too, in the deepest crevices of your mind. Our souls are mixed. Together or apart, we are linked. My absence will only, ever, be temporary. Because I could never stay away from you for long… You are precious to me, sweet one. Even death won’t keep me from you.”
He steps back, tugging the old rag off of me, then pulls me into his arms. His fingers tangle in my hair as he tips his forehead to mine. I stroke his lovely beard and breath him in, soaking his presence into every pore, and waiting for the kiss that makes us one.
His kiss doesn’t come, though, because he’s already gone. Memories of him haunt my dreams. My love for him haunts me, overflows my heart, and guides my life.
I feel the shredded edge of his shirt, too worn to even wear anymore. And I smile, because I know he was right, and we won’t be apart for long.
Well meet again tonight, in my dreams. And soon enough, in eternity…
I saw this photo and article weeks ago, and had a dream that inspired me to write this. It is fiction.
I’m not one to wear my husband’s shirts or old tattered clothes, because I love pretty things and prefer to wear flattering things.
But I long for this kind of closeness. I long to feel this attached. I think most women do.