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A family is a delicate thing.
And somewhere glass shatters
Or someone dons a ring.
The crystalline and stone
hands clasped and bound.

"It's bundles of joy."
By the sound
Of cooing and crying.

One more sound,
then another.
Each one an ember glowing
fires of difference
that not one member can solve
or celebrate.

And the sun shines at dawn.
or, at least, it's hoped.
Father knows it will.
or Mother says he does,
it's hoped.

Just as they know
one son might rise.
Or another might fall,
or neither.

Like the daughter that shines.
Or the one that falters,
or neither.

It is the same,
and all are loved,
or one, or none.

Just as tides play
upon the seashore,
so do hearts play
upon the time
they have with each other.

And we hope they play kindly.
If not, oh well.
"We tried."
Said any tired parent.

"Be kind to your brothers
And sisters."
But did we ever
talk about it?


Who would?
When it means being kind.

Kind to parents that may
have missed the mark.
Kind to siblings that have done better
or worse.
Kind to their children, with no respect
or much.

History may be rich with kindness,
and then again history
is rife with war.
And all may be lost
in the fires,
in the rivalry.

And somewhere glass shatters,
the dogs bark, and people
talk and talk and chatter.
All round a small flame,
Embers kept close by the tender

hands of each member.
All round the circle huddled
warming every other muddled
piece of tragedy
or scrap of joy.

Good or bad
it's no matter,
the fire is warm and so
they have each other.

Their stories are rich
and so no one can *****.
Each tale is a shard
glued together and told
for family
is a delicate thing.
I was walking down the street
Exchanging thoughts with the trees
Gargling in my stomach
Hungry for the pain
That came from my father
Gestated by my mother
A newborn with pre-determined traits

Stumbling down the path
There’s no need to be mad
A throbbing in my chest
Pulsating out regrets
It stems from my father
Exasperated by my mother
This will stay with me till the end

I have a disease that can’t be seen
Both environmental and in my genes
A weight on my shoulders
Making me feel colder
Please god, give me release
The color of death is not black, is not white.  
                                                        ­                        Not red, not gold.  
Think: ashen skin.  
                               Think: where did the blood go?  
                                                          ­                       Think: pale, so ******* pale.
Bruise again.  He’s going to bruise again.  
     Mottled red   and      purple   and      blue   and      green   and      yellow.
That’s what the body does after death.  Blood runs down
to the lowest bend of the body and bruises the skin.  

The rust of cerebrospinal fluid as it sloshes
                      back and forth
       in the bag hanging above the bed.  
                                                      My mother’s hands:
white knuckled and gripping down on washcloths
to prevent her from breaking the skin of her palms.
The constant hum of telemetry,
                                the soft whoosh of the ventilator.

The human body has roughly 7% of its weight in blood.
The human body has no ******* idea what to do when
there is too much or too little of really anything.
Think: blood vessel bursting.
                            Think: cells mutating.
                                                  Think: proned patient coding after intubation.

Bruised.  His hands were bruised from all the needle-sticks,
from his lack of platelets.  And a single transfusion only goes so long.
                                                           ­   Goes three weeks long.  
The hands on the belly, laid so gently, so carefully are
covered in makeup.  The hair is parted wrong with a cowlick.
I know how they created that soft smile on his closed mouth.
                                                                         I’ve read the books.
                                            I’ve heard the talks from morticians.  
They’ve made my grandfather tan, but
I know what’s underneath the foundation:
writing your grief prompt nine: choose any color. let your mind follow that color to a memory, or a scene, or a story of any kind
Leah Carr May 9
like there's fire fighting ice in the pit of your stomach
like your insides have disappeared  
like a spirit has swept through your chest
like a weight is pressing in on your skull
like the temperature has just dropped ten degrees
like you're watching yourself from above
everything is surreal
because please, God, this can't be real ...
I can only remember experiencing this feeling a few times in my life, and every time it's been unbearable.
Hello hello
Friends, strangers, family
You can be one of these
Or all of them
But hello hello
To a greeting or nothing
I'll still say
Hello hello
the asteroid hit the earth so long ago that
                                                             i do not remember a time before.  
(the bones of dinosaurs do not remember a time before they were
petrified into brittle and fragile memories; the moon does not recall
who she was before she got stuck in the earth’s orbit; uranus knows
nothing of how he came to spin on his side.)

you could stick your hand through
any of the gas giants and find
                                                          your whole body
                                                           slidi­ng through.  
this same theory can be applied to my skin.  i have very little gravity,
or at least it feels that way most days.

maybe it depends on how you look at it:
one way is perfect, and the other all wrong.  the woman in the casket could either be sleeping or dead.  she could either be a stranger or my mother.  the head or the tail.  the light or the dark.  the two sides of the moon.  the comet striking through the night sky.  the interdimensional toll could refuse to let you through.  the cult could accept or deny your entry request.  there is one and there is the other.  the upside down.  the rightside up.  the parallel universe.  the evil twin.  it’s fresh and then it’s rotten.  this could either hurt a lot or a little.  it depends on how much you let in: how willing you are to bend to the emotional blow.

science says that the human body tends to
                                                            forget physical pain as a survival tactic.
but science says jack **** about emotional pain.

so am i living?  or am i just existing?
     the difference is six feet deep.
writing your grief prompt three: how do you live in a landscape so vastly changed?
Leah Carr May 5
She's gone
Gone forever
I know I'm like her
I know I am her
But I've still lost her

A part of myself
Is gone
I'm standing strong
While falling apart
Falling a p a r   t...
I’m thinking of the faded checkered pattern that has been
smoothed away by time on the dark cloth seats of a Nissan Pathfinder
                                          driving down Ryan Road on a hot day in June.
My mother, in the front seat, singing along to a Spice Girls cassette.  

I’m thinking: red, plastic, crab-shaped sandbox and
                                      McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.  
I’m thinking: light princess pink, seafoam green, and robin’s egg blue.  
I’m thinking of a framed cheetah cross stitch, hanging on the wall of what
                                      used to be our bedroom at my grandparent’s house.
I’m thinking: Barbie doll houses and Hot Wheels and a cul-de-sac at
                                                                ­                     the end of the street.  

The sweet smell of cigar smoke.  The ice cold splash of the garden hose.  The pop of a bubble.  The sting of soap in the eye.  Dreams by The Cranberries.  As Long as You Love Me by The Backstreet Boys.  A HelloKitty boombox slowly spitting out vapor when the deck builders hit a power line while digging.  The deer in the backyard looking for corn.  The faded wood of a playset that was never really played on.

My father: sitting alone on a splintered bench by the firepit at the edge of the woods, empty beer cans at his feet, chain smoking cigarettes, and humming along to a song that is stuck—forever stuck—on the tip of my tongue.
I do not know if this happened.  I cannot ask him.  
(I’m not sure if I would want to ask him.)  
But I can make an educated inference that that line of
fiction is really nonfiction.  
A memory that feels like a phantom limb.  
                            Sounds like the sharp crinkle of static.  
                                                     Co­vered in a gossamer, dreamlike haze.  

There is a distinct otherness to this memory, to who
                                     I think I was before the trauma.  
We are two different people.  A yin and a yang.  A day and a night.  
The hermit crab is soft beneath its hard shell.
The asbestos is not apparent within the insulation.  
You cannot see the lead in the paint.
The mold inside the fruit.
prompt one for write your grief: who was the person you used to be?
Shwetha sb May 4
No matter how much your mother scold
it's only for your good
No matter how much your father shout
he's testing you and never leaves  doubt
No matter how much your brother hates
he knows you'll never say him goodbyes
No matter how much your doggy irritates
he wants you to be his hero...
I had read it somewhere, a fri(end), girlfri (end),boyfri(end)-all would have an end.
But a family would never have.......
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