Turning the Page

2 Jan

Flickr Photo Download: leaf + snow

It’s been almost a year now.
The spring has turned ’round to winter.
I walked the beach last weekend,
That strip of sand where the wild ponies love to run.
I remembered our winter walks on the beach,
The way you would tip your chin up and stride into the wind,
Strong and bold, while I shivered and hunched down in my jacket.
A cold wind slapped at me, but this time I lifted my head,
Unzipped my jacket, ran into its sting, savored the life you gave me.

It’s been almost a year now.
It was snowing the night you left.
I stood outside watching it swirl in silent spirals
and thought of a sheet settling over you.
Snow seeped from an ashen sky the day we buried you.
I couldn’t look at you tucked in that clay jar,
propped on a drape of artificial grass,
while they counted down our allotted time to grieve.
I fixed my eyes on the brick wall you’d climb,
sneaking in after hours to bring flowers to mother.

It’s been almost a year now.
Spring peepers gave a concert the week after that goodbye.
The ground turned soft from new rain.
My shovel slid into the earth
As I pried up a dead cedar, tossed it aside,
And set a young rhododendron in its place.
I remembered all the bushes we planted together.
May this one fare better.

It’s been almost a year now
And I sat numb through too much of it.
The grass greened and went back to brown.
Two feet of snow buried your rhododendron.
The page is turning and I can’t stop it. I can’t put it back.
It’s opening on a new chapter in my life —
The first year without you in it.

The prompt for this Sunday Scribblings is New Leaf. See what other Sunday Scribblers wrote here.


11 Responses to “Turning the Page”

  1. Tumblewords January 2, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Exquisite poetry! I would so hope this is fiction and yet I fear it isn’t. Many new leaves for you and a spectacular leap into the beauty of 2010!

  2. Catherine Denton January 2, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    This is beautiful. The way it’s written and the story itself. Bittersweet.

  3. J Cosmo Newbery January 3, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    Most touching, delicately so. Thank you.

  4. keiths ramblings January 3, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    Sad yet full of hope. A beutiful piece

  5. naramalone January 3, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    @Tumblewords No, this one isn’t fiction. It’s for my, Dad. Thanks for the warm wishes. 🙂

    Thank you all for stopping by and leaving feedback. I know we all miss those we’ve lost this time of year. The best way to honor them, I think, is to take the best things about them and make them part of ourselves.

  6. Rinkly Rimes January 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    Lovely writing. It has to be read aloud to appreciate the music.

  7. David January 3, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    You have come a long way in this last year. It’s hard to go on without someone you have loved, and who loved you back. Remember the good times, remember the parakeet, and imagine how proud he would have been (or perhaps how proud he is) of your publishing contract. Honor his memory by keeping your head high and continually your writing.


  8. Jae Rose January 4, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    What a beautiful and poignant piece. Superb imagery and feeling. Jae ..

  9. Dee January 5, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    wow – grief and loss and time passing – moving away even when you want to stop it or at least slow it down. This is powerful and makes me want to hug you.

  10. Jeeves January 5, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    Poignant. Wishing you a very happy New Year

  11. eveningstarjilly January 6, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    This is beautiful and so powerful. That part about the page turning and you can’t stop it really struck me hard. So true.

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