April Mourning

Three images inspired by poems about loss (for BO, MH, JB):



I’ll Never

smell lilies again

without thinking of those

brought to me after my sister’s death.

This time I chose them,

wide petals yawning over the vase.

I go outside to look for her

in the eyes of the cardinal.

Snow flurries no one predicted—

perhaps these are the ashes

of the dead, now pure.

I open my mouth and let them settle.

                                           -Gail Peck



In the Moment of My Death: For My Father

You were simple, I suppose,

delighted by life

so that sickness and death

came to you as a surprise

out of the shadows of your heart.


In the moment of my death

may your old happiness light my way,

and the image of your face

smiling, happy at my coming,

be a lantern in the dark.

                             -Jane Gentry



That Year

for my mother


When the black-eyed susans begin to bloom

in the backyard, and the moonbeam coreopsis

bursts into tiny stars, I think of the year


I banished yellow from my life. It was the year

I dug up the lantana, when I didn’t plant

narcissus and all the buttery bulbs


but chose white, and a little blue, for the garden

without knowing that I was readying

for two long years of her dying. The next spring


I painted our kitchen, once a lemony gloss, ecru.

I threw out from my closet all the blouses

hinting, from their hangers, of glad canaries.


Beginning that fall I dressed in a dull haze

of beige, toning myself down for the end.

I ignored the incandescence of morning, the amber


of dusk, and leaned to clouds billowed in black.

The week in November she died I loaded the trunk

of my car with flats of pansies, three sacks of bulbs.


I wanted my hands working the dirt, a dark loam

that would spring into jonquils, daffodils—bright

coronas of yellow, and yellow, and yellow.

Susan Meyers




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