Tag: loss

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November 30, 2023 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic, Writing tagged as , , ,

Leaves, leaves, and more leaves—the fall chore overwhelmed Kelsie each year, ever since she’d lost Tanner. It wasn’t the yardwork that ate at her, but more the season, the slide from a glorious summer into an end-of-growing-things autumn, followed closely by the chill of winter, when everything was either dead or in a deep sleep. That inevitability reminded her she’d been powerless to stop Tanner’s death—once the cancer was diagnosed, he’d had exactly three months left, those three months falling during a turbulent autumn.

Her friends worried for her. “Five years out, you should be bouncing back,” they said. “He would want you to live your life, not stay buried in grief.”

But they didn’t know—hadn’t known—her brother. After their father, and then their mother had died, Tanner had been her lifeline. For that bittersweet decade after their deaths, he had served as her confidant when her personal relationships soured. He’d always, always led her toward the positive, even after he got sick.

“You’re a tough woman,” he’d said when she expressed doubt that she could carry on without him. “You’ll survive. That’s what we do. All of this loss makes you strong.”

But she knew different. Loss left holes. Large ones that couldn’t be filled, no matter how many days, weeks, or years passed. Couldn’t be filled, no matter how many dead leaves you stuffed into them.

And so Kelsie raked. The piles grew, and she allowed the ache in her arms and shoulders and back to counter the pain in her soul. Her thoughts butted up against the endless question: Why had she been spared? Tanner should have lived, not her; even after all this time, she was still not up to the task of facing her life alone.

When the sun sank below the trees, she put up the rake and went indoors for a hot mug of hard cider and a hearth fire. She dozed in her chair, hearing over the crackle of the flames the wind gusting. I should have moved the leaf piles into the woods. Now they’ll be scattered.

The following morning, Kelsie pulled on her jeans, boots, and sweater to tackle another round of yard work. Glancing out the bedroom window, she stepped closer to the glass, to better see.

The wind—or something—had indeed moved the leaves, but instead of scattering them, they were arranged on the grass in a pattern, one that spelled a name: hers.

“Tanner,” she whispered, feeling suddenly lighter. The darkness within her retreated with the day’s full sunlight. “Thank you.”

Books with more of Dianna’s stories

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October 13, 2023 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , ,


by diane sismour

tonight wasn’t to end this way.
i imagined her saying, no.
to turn away a life together, but she hadn’t.

we celebrate with champagne; the bubbles make her happy.
light as air, she calls her soul, springing to the music.
her red dress flares as a tulip, cupping her body.

tonight wasn’t to end this way.
skinny dipping in the neighbor’s hot tub. snowflakes melting
above us, her skin glistening whiter than the crystals,
shimmering in the streetlight at my touch.

tonight wasn’t to end this way.
her skin soft next to mine, paler than the moon waning above.
her soft snores vibrate my heart as a violin stroked gently.

tonight wasn’t to end this way.
singing a melody meant for our child. a hand on her still small belly, her scent a blend of ocean and oils smoothed over her limbs warm and tan.

tonight wasn’t to end this way
her robe covers translucent skin, stretched and thin. stomach
bulging, tight and still. no kicks, no movement, monitors
peeping, wires attached to places I kissed this morning.

tonight wasn’t to end this way
if only she had said, no, to hear me say goodbye.

Books from BWG

Books from Diane Sismour

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Forsythia Blooms by Neetu Malik

February 26, 2020 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as , , ,

Forsythia Blooms

We meet here again
but I am alone

shielded by forsythia
behind memories
forged and forgotten
in fields that have
seen snow and rain

lain desolate 
before seasons change
and drifting winds carry
sounds of birdsong
to end winter's silence.

We meet again but
I am alone

with golden bells that
chime your presence
as they rise from the earth
warm once more.
© Neetu

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