because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

Between May and December (II)

The fifteenth. Almost too early to be called morning.
A last wide-eyed breath, oxygen
lines not enough to pull life
down into lungs riddled with what is no longer lung,

nolonger her.
There are no witnesses except the roses
beginning just to bud. He plants a miniature, pink,
in the side bed she had wrested from dust.

Her side of the bed lies cold, stretches
south. The phone rings again,
and again and again. He isn’t
told the day they put her in the ground.

Her carefully tended gardens bloom
once more, fade. The pink thrives
in caked mud through hottest summer,
slight scent of cloying memory.

September brings the burden of storms,
hurricanes. The side bed is awash,
and he is hundreds of miles away.
Wrapped in cold stone,

she can’t hear the wind as it cries.
First frost comes late, softly.
The twenty-fifth, Christmas morning,
a single blighted bud nearing

has risen shyly against the
white of Decembergrass, but
he doesn’t make it in time to see.

26 responses

  1. ~L

    What talent in how you express the emotion in this poem!!! Loved it!


    December 28, 2011 at 1:31 am

    • Thanks, ~L! Means a lot.

      December 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm

  2. So bittersweet

    December 28, 2011 at 5:45 am

    • almost more bitter than sweet in the telling. nice to hear from you!

      December 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

  3. Such a sharply-etched picture of the insides of a life’s, love’s ebb-tide, everything invested and matured and shared and loved simply worn away and lost in death. Become the leavings of oblivion. Fine work.

    December 28, 2011 at 6:08 am

    • “the leavings of oblivion.” yes. thank you, Brendan.

      December 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm

  4. the word bar

    Oh my…such beauty and pain interwoven in your lines..
    another finely crafted poem Joanna

    December 28, 2011 at 9:01 am

    • thank you so much, Lynne. I really appreciate it. This one was especially difficult to write.

      December 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm

  5. valerie

    this feels difficult to write, not difficult to read, but from what you’ve shown seems hard to pick which strands to show and which to leave behind. the final line does it for me, confirms you wove the right lines from what you are pulling from.
    if that makes sense.
    anyway i got a little teary at my desk. december is the bitterest of sweet.

    December 28, 2011 at 9:50 am

    • yes, that was exactly it– deciding which threads to show, which to leave hidden.

      december brings out the bitter part of the sweet in me too.

      December 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm

  6. It is unfair that things in life are temporary or an illusion. God and I will have a very heated discussion re this most unfortunate imperfection in his/her creation. (used his/her re requirements gender equality and small h’s re separation of church and state).

    December 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    • I appreciate the political correctness of your comment, Carl, but such niceties are in no way necessary around here. 🙂 Glad to know you’re going to set the powers-that-be straight, though. Somebody’s gotta do it.

      December 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

  7. Shawna

    This is an incredibly powerful piece. I love the ending:

    “a single blighted bud nearing
    has risen shyly against the
    white of Decembergrass, but
    he doesn’t make it in time to see.”

    December 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    • Thank you, Shawna. 🙂

      December 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm

  8. finely tuned juxtaposition.

    December 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

  9. Anonymous

    deeply moving with feeling…i like that the flower came up there at the end it broke the feelings a different way for me…and then he did not see it…nice joanna

    December 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

  10. Sobering, beautiful write. The details thrust me into the story and the emotions. You are a skillful poet.

    December 28, 2011 at 8:33 pm

  11. Siubhan, if you have the time and inclination, I would love it if you would post this on the link to my Wednesday prompt. It fits so well.

    December 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    • Victoria, thank you for the invitation to the Wednesday prompt– I am more than happy to post the link, though I may not be able to visit other participants until late tomorrow. Lots of great ideas for writers you’ve got up over there!

      December 28, 2011 at 10:06 pm

  12. I am filled with a story of people I didn’t know but I am knowing powerful emotions. I don’t like thinking that everything is so temporary but I need the reminder. Lovely piece. I enjoyed it immensely!

    December 29, 2011 at 1:31 am

  13. Beautiful and heartfelt tribute… I liked it so much.

    Thanks for Sharing. Wish you have a happy new year. May you have peace, love and prosperity.

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

    December 29, 2011 at 4:32 am

  14. What an excellent ending, perfect example for Victoria’s writing prompt. You paint such a clear picture with your words, simply wonderful. Thanks for sharing it!

    December 29, 2011 at 7:24 am

  15. The feeling in this is so bleak and cold and yet…there is that tiny red bud of life. Life does go on doesn’t it…

    December 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm

  16. nice capture of loss and its journey

    December 30, 2011 at 10:13 am

  17. Oh thank you! I’m so glad you linked it to Write2Day. Joyful New Year!

    December 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm

  18. wrapped in cold stone -> very eerie

    spoiler alert

    December 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm


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