for Rachel Woodard
Grey as the in-between of everything
never meant to be understood—
your eyes had a way
of taking the weight of the day
from my shoulders;
when they could not, I found in them
such forgiveness for my defeat.
Heartfully, I always listened
when your wisdom asked for my attention—
our words, sparse enough,
were generally traded
with playful mischief.
in the years since I saw your face last,
photographs have come to feel
something like prayers.
I miss, most of all,
the way your smile sounded.
Previously published at Black Elephant – Issue 3 / September 2016
The peace lily
was placed in the corner
of the room–
where no one sits.
Originally published at Belle Rêve Literary Journal – June 2015.
Grief wrapped around me last night,
reminding me of the hardest ache
I’ve learned to live with. I curled
into the bend of the couch, recalling
silly things and finding solace
in the way the night moves.
Loss has lent itself to our family
in the same season it visited last;
the evening makes the same sounds
as it did then: crickets and cicadas
in the distance, cars crawling past
our homes—as if life is to carry on
the way it always does.
Originally published at Poppy Road Review – 3/16/15
Oh January, you cannot bury
the beauty of the worth born
into your care, more than many
years ago. End all you like, but
your last day will be celebrated
evermore and everafter the end
of September attempts to steal
your glory. You see, hearts know
nothing of calendars or finality.
February will follow you with love.
Rachel Olene Woodard
[1/31/1941 – 9/28/2011]
I can hear the television blaring
and I just want silence
just a cup of coffee;
the kind you’d tell me
to go make a fresh pot of
when I would drop by,
without knocking, and
without an invitation
to sit in that chair,
the one with the not-hardly
worn on the sides
from how I’d sit:
comfortably, but not how I ought to,
We’d watch television
for hours on end—
that is, when we would
actually break from chit-chat
to pay attention to
all those dumb shows
far worse off than you or me.
Watching television there,
in that chair
across from you,
made my going home
seem something less like
Originally published in the Winter 2014 issue of The Summerset Review