May birds of spirit

Mama dove paces the fencetop above her injured baby
It tries to fly with wounded wing, feathers not in sync
She waits, waits through afternoon and into nightfall
As patiently as love itself — life fluttering on the brink

—Terri Guillemets, 2019 May 26th

Forever lit with the soul of another

Immediate grief is a falling to the knees, a bleeding of the heart, a blow to the soul. Ongoing grief is a getting up; a call to move on; a healing and a strengthening; a melding of soul with sorrow, with loss, with life; a transformation of self to renewed being, rebuilt with the leavings of another.

—Terri Guillemets, 2019 March 5th

Grieving to the marrow

GRIEF twists the heart
and contorts the mind
carves the spirit hollow
wrings the past to tears
torrentially obscuring future
LOVE saturates memory
until sorrow overflows
into every pore of present
ALL you can feel is emptiness
and a lump in the throat
platitudes no consolation
but living on nonetheless

—Terri Guillemets, 2019 March 2nd

We picked up your ashes today

We picked up your ashes today
When I look at them, I see bone
When I close my eyes, I see light
Something like an invisible hand
raises my lowered chin
      —“Keep looking up”
Was that your gesture? or God’s?
I loved you on earth
and I love you beyond
      —Welcome home

—Terri Guillemets, 2019 February 11th

Paws walking away

Sometimes what gets to you most isn’t the large holes that get ripped from your heart but the fraying of all its edges — when the thing that held you together isn’t anymore.

—Terri Guillemets, 2019 January 11th