Into the corners (poem)

When it happens
no matter what your connection
to him or her is,

you stop

and take inventory.

You notice in an other way.

You inhale a sliver of the new moon,
and cower under crows calling
from the almost dead
branches overhead.

Inside the car you let out a breath deeper than before
in a way that is soothing
and wrenching at the same time.

At dinner when one of your kids shrieks too loud,
you reach out, and intentionally feel their cheek
along the inside of your palm.
This reminds you of the time you first met.

You can’t stop yourself from picturing another mother doing that
for the next to last time,
and you want to pull back your hand and wail.

Then because life interrupts death interrupts life

you smile at the bubbly woman at the table next to yours
when she announces, unprovoked, that she is celebrating her new job,
and that nothing can ruin her day today.

Suddenly you are praying for a stranger that she is right.

Back home you crawl into bed next to your children,
and tuck each little sweet snoring breath into the corners
of your guarded heart.


  1. Life is just too short. . . . . but maybe it is the right length, and we just don’t know it in time. . . .

  2. strung me right in the heart. I am experiencing this – with a fellow child my son’s age – and your poem spoke to me to how it feels. thanks.

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