Enclosed

Our bodies were meant
for the sun, the rain,
the gusty winds,
starlight and moon baths,
fresh air and seasons —
so why do we trap ourselves
      in indoor cages?

If we can’t hear the
birds chirp, feel the breezes:
how are we to be refreshed,
to heal, to know the world
beyond the borders
      of our bodies?

—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

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

In a hospital

In a hospital
it’s difficult to listen
to sad, scary sounds
      “code blue” on intercoms
      wailing, grieving families
      beep-beep-beep of machines —
But if you listen
more carefully
you can hear
      the sound of hope
      of healing, love, and support,
      caring, confident voices
      of nurses and doctors and staff,
      the din and melodies of
      our imperfect and indispensable
      healthcare plexus at work.

—Terri Guillemets