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It’s a large cavern.  A gaping hole—
                                                                A black hole.  
Slow and fast.        Pain and numb.        Yin and yang.
The blackened lung.        The bust vessel.        The mutated cells.
                     It’s everything and nothing at once.

                                                    What is the condition of my heart?
I couldn't begin to tell you.
It’s hope and
                    it’s anger and
                                           it’s frustration and
                                                                ­           it’s a corked bottle on high heat.

Lush leaves.  Turquoise lagoon.  Iron sky.  
Everything looks like it's
                                               filmed through a blue filter, Twilight style—
                                                         this is what my heart looks like.  

Grey like brain.  Serosanguineous like cerebrospinal fluid
collecting from a shunt to a bag from a cracked open skull.  
Purple and green and yellow like bruises on
                      hands that don't have enough platelets to heal.  
Teal like an N95 mask.  Lilac like a casket spray.  
Soft pink like the padding of a wood overcoat.  
Grey.                        Grey.                   ­     Grey. 

This is what you will find if you crack my chest,
                                          spread my diaphragm,
                                                   my sternum,
                                               shuffle my lungs.
Sounds like asystole on the monitors, but still
           somehow producing electrical currents.  

The condition of my heart is cavernous.  
A sunset on the east coast; a sunrise on the west.  
                                                         ­                                Bittersweet.
write your grief prompt #16: what is the condition of your heart?
The fog here is thick, until you step into it.  
The storm rages until you get to its eye.  
I wish this same principle could be said of me, too.  
But like a gas giant, you could slip right through me with
                         the smallest amount of pressure.
There is no calming sense of self at the core.
Gravity does not apply to me.

There’s a boat on the lake cutting through the fog.  And then nothing.  
                                                      ­                                    More waves.  
                                                        ­            More birds.  
              The fog covers it all up again.  
The sun slinks and the tide comes in, or is it out?  Does it matter?  
The moon controls it in some way—the push, the pull of the waves.
At least the lake looks blue today,
                           looks green today.
The geese are in the water now.  The families are packing up.  
                             The ice cream shop is closing.

And I do not remember if I was ever here with you.  
                                This, of course, is a collective you.  
Could mean you, my reader,
                                               could mean one specific person,
                                               or two
                                                             ­       or three
                                                                ­                          or four;
could be whoever I'm thinking of when I reread this to myself.  
That’s the funny thing about the litany of loss.  
                                           It all starts to congeal.  

Waves crash against the rock.  Starts to chip away, create something new.
                                                      That’s what memory does.
It’s not permanent.  It’s malleable.  
Flexible.        Bendable.        Moldable.  
It smells like lakewater.  Like
                                                  fish and sand and mud and
                            gulls and rocks and shells and
     algae and fog—thick, thick fog.  
Smell is supposed to be one of the biggest memory triggers, and yet
                                       I cannot place a single memory of you here.
                                                    And that’s mildly crushing.  

So I would take you here:
                                              to where I wish the air was
                                                       saliter and less earthy.  
                                              to where I come sometimes to think.  
                                              where the clouds are so thick and puffy and
                                                            the setting sun makes them look like                                                                cotton candy on the Fourth of July.
                                              where the sun’s reflection on the water
                                                                ­      turns the green lake pink.  
                                              where the geese are back out of the water and
                                                                                                     onto the shore.
I would take you here with me.  
Into a new memory.  
                                      Homemade.        Handmade.        DIY.
write your grief prompt #14: imagine writing a letter to the one you have lost, what would you show them?
lex hughes Aug 9
Looking at a life through the shattered wine glass
One of my earliest memories of you,
Understanding with no words or thoughts that you were going to die one day
And yet I still wasn't ready.

You drank to still your thoughts
And finally, they are still.
Long, unplanned absence. Still grief will always guide me back.
It's the pilot light in the stove,
                                    the fireplace.  It’s the
night light in the bathroom,
                        the living room.  The
reflection in the mirror,
                  in the glass of my windshield.  The
      hum of electricity,
the sigh of the furnace.  

What do you mean I’m supposed to go looking for something that is constant?

The conjoined twin does not go looking for its sibling.
                 The brain does not search for the heart.  
The shadow always finds the body.  Gravity invariably
                                                    pulls the moon into orbit.  

The smoldering ache of loss
                  —hot like bubbling magma, bright like a solar flare—
                                                   is always there.  
Lurking beneath the skin.  The face behind the mask.  
                 Gnarled roots beneath the forest.

What do you mean I’m supposed to look for something that is a part of me?
Assimilated to my sense of normalcy.  Integrated into my DNA.
I can only do so much introspection before I go insane.
write your grief prompt #12: What would it take to seek out the smoldering ache of loss?
Juhlhaus May 9
This dry Spring
The parched earth drinks quickly,
Every cold droplet precious
As the tears of the bereaved.

The rain furrows the dusty creek banks
Like sunken, careworn cheeks.
The timid water hurries
Past sandbars and gravel spits,
Around balding rocks crowned
With rotting riverweed.
And in the green places that remain
To be sought and found between
The highway noise and the factories,
There the shy ones grieve with us
For all those lost to disease and violence,
Miscarriage and mischance.

We round the bend;
The yearlings start and bolt
Through the struggling underbrush—
An exercise in their own fragility.
The mother does not run.
She moves warily a few paces
In the opposite direction
And meets our gaze: measured, assessing.
She takes us in, then bows
Her graceful neck to the tender shoots
That break the hardened clay,
The gesture her benediction of peace.
Sam Steele Apr 16
If tears could build a ladder
If heartache made it strong
If grief could be my escort
I’d bring you back where you belong

I’d climb each rung of loneliness
I’d overcome the pain
I’d ignore the one way system
And I would bring you back again

But I know that I can’t do that
And the loss I’ll have to bear
It will hurt to not be near you
Until I can join you there
Crystal Mar 19
Every marked date that comes around,
gives me more reason to frown and
make no sound.

Every year that passes by, gives me more
reason to hide away and cry.

For alone I shall now be, no Mother
to hold or comfort me.

To share happiness and special memories.
To be held and loved like things
used to be.

C.Holder 13.03.21
Personal Poem
Crystal Mar 17
God gave her wings and told her to fly,
but I could never understand why.

My Mum was brave and strong
but before I knew it, she was gone.

Her spirit took off into the sky,
before I could even get a chance to say
a proper goodbye.

But God looked down on me and whispered,
don't cry your Mum's wings were ready to fly.

C.Holder - 14.03.21
Personal Poem
Jade Welch Feb 1
And the sad part is I would take any piece of me and replace it with a part of you.

So my brothers could have a father, so my sister could have a man to look up to, so her children could know who Grandad David is.

So my mum could love, REALLY love again. None of this fake "we're going for dinner, so that means something" *******. None of the "he hit me but that's OK, because he didn't mean it" *******. None of the "he screamed at you but he never meant it" *******.

And I would take any piece of me and replace it with a part of you.

I would take all of me and replace it with all of you so I didn't know this pain. That might be selfish because you were in pain.
That might be selfish and it's not OK but I would rather know there was of world with you in it without me there to see it.

I would take everything I enjoy and replace it with you, just for one picture beside you.

I would take everyone I have ever loved and replace them with you so I could know what real love is.
Take every moment I've ever had and replace it with you because a girl needs her father.
What's the point in fake love and rainy days and a cup of coffee in small cafe's. What's the point in fancy dinners and a quick lunch, your boyfriend taking you out for brunch. What's the point in long dates and drive-ins
and lazy days and lay-ins.
What was the point for any of that when I can't tell you?

And the sad part is I would take any piece of me and replace it with a part of you.
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