2020

canceled, isolated, distanced
dazed, befuddled, harried
rationed, washed, disinfected
zoomed, homeschooled
furloughed, fired, scared
impoverished, subsidized
learned, helped, sacrificed
inspired, respected, thanked
hospitalized, intubated, died
lied, gaslighted, denied
masked, tested, untested
endured, abided, accepted
annoyed, outraged, protested
anticipated, waited, voted

—Terri Guillemets

Death lights heavy

Hummingbird mama —
abandons her nonviable eggs
but keeps checking back
a few more times, just to be sure.

Arms fall off a saguaro,
break open on the ground
like fragile eggshells —
after years of desert still-life
a few seconds of death-motion.

But the night breeze is so beautiful
those breezes are — so beautiful,
it’s hard not to get swept away.

—Terri Guillemets

Memorial

grieving makes us stronger —
it gives us a spirit of grace
      and the grace of spirit
our hearts feel weaker
      but living past loss is
      the ultimate courage
we honor our loved ones
      by living on despite —
      and all the more because

—Terri Guillemets

Forever lit with the soul of another

Immediate grief —
      a falling to the knees
      a bleeding of the heart
      a blow to the soul

Ongoing grief —
      a getting up
      a call to move on
      a healing & 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

A thousand choices

Transform FEAR into —

curiosity, love, kindness, humor, hope, joy, knowledge, focus, laughter, awareness, wonder, willpower, wings, experience, faith, fervor, encouragement, enlightenment, challenge, gratitude, goodwill, action, learning, beginnings, opportunity, inertia, aim, determination, adventure, character, smiles, hard work, independence, liberation, letting go, peace, patience, perspective, awe, calmness, confidence, effort, insight, light, movement, living, overcoming, mindfulness, healing, grace, generosity, energy, acceptance, reflection, truth seeking, self-reliance, remedies, desire, fight, fortitude, freedom, intention, lessons, journeys, poise, positivity, art, poetry, singing, dancing, words, wisdom, wellness, trust, respect, compassion, affirmation, friendship, fun, fresh starts, stepping stones, goals, dreams, drive, duty, grit, cheer, excitement, apologies, forgiveness, plans, prayers, purpose, questions, coping, daring, empathy, helping, morale, moxie, nerve, heart, guts, resolve, self-discipline, spirit, tenacity, understanding, research, enthusiasm, valor, caution, courage, boldness, ability, readiness, information, life, meditation, mettle, options, decisions, protest, change, education, emancipation, volition, carpe diem, zeal, honesty, introspection, usefulness, appreciation, blessings, delight, dignity, play, exercise, hugs, deep breaths, doing, vantage points, U‑turns, exploration, growth, invitations, venture, virtue, value

—Terri Guillemets