Posted in #atozchallenge, April CampNaNoWriMo 2018, Blogfest Entries, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, poetry, slices of life, Writing Sample

P is for Preparing Ourselves and Our Home: #atozchallenge, Day 16

Close Yet Ready

When strength fades away

When death grows close

Close spaces become hazards

Close off paths of travel

Travel through the new terrain

Travel through the final days

Days spent in reconsidering

Days spent in rearranging

Rearranging the furniture

Rearranging our priorities

Priorities must be reconsidered

Priorities shift as life ebbs

Ebbs into weeks then days

Ebbs until only hours remain

Remain together as long as we can

Remain connected still sharing our bed

Bed where so many conversations wandered

Bed where a son and daughter were created

Created a family that spilled ever outward

Created a life here with that bed as the center

Center ourselves in the love we’ve nurtured

Center ourselves for the death that’s approaching

Approaching fast although unwanted

Approaching to change everything we’ve known

Known each other’s breaths and heatbeats

Known deep love in all its many shadings

Shadings of sorrow edging each moment

Shadings of after as I rearranged the now

Now each change carries a message

Now I am always so painfully aware

Aware that these changes come with a message

Aware that we are crossing a threshold

Threshold between married and widowed

Threshold between what was and will be

Be with me always don’t die don’t leave me

Be healthy and strong and so filled with laughter

Laughter the music that always sustained us

Laughter lingers but now tinged with pain

Pain as his body is consumed by cancer

Pain as my soul faces a life lived alone

Alone in this room we’ve shared for so long

Alone in this bed he made with his own hands

Hands that shake now once caressed me

Hands grown feeble cradled our children

Children grown strong and healthy and happy

Children losing something I can never replace

Replace furniture and make spaces ready

Replace future vision with reality of now



So, I’m back to being a day late with this post, but for reasons that relate directly to the topic of this poem.

On Tuesday, I participated in my second-ever Meet the Author event for my recently-published, Pushcart Prize nominated story, “Being Colette,” which was published by local small press 518 Publishing in the Dark and Bitter anthology. This is something I’d never done before Jim died, but he always said he wished I could earn money from my writing, and this is a start…

On my way to the event, I passed an animal shelter. I’ve been thinking that I need a dog to help fill the large empty place in my bed, and give me a companion to ease the pain of grieving as I expend energy in caring for someone who could use some TLC.

So, on my way home, I stopped and inquired about pit bulls or pittie mixes who might get along with cats and other dogs. Pit bulls get an undeserved bad rap – they are sweet dogs and so good with kids they used to be known as “the nanny dog.” Shelters are full of pitties looking for homes, but they’re harder to adopt than some other breeds. But our late dog, Corki, was a pittie mix, and he sold us all on the breed.

Within minutes, I was getting big sloppy kisses from a young pitty named Nadine, who had been found as a stray.

On a separate but now related note, I bought a new bed. I needed to stop sleeping in the bed Jim and I shared – the massive raw wood bed he built with his bare hands, and which he died in.

Part of recreating my life is letting go of the anchor of that bed. Eventually, we plan to make it a small raised bed greenhouse, so it can remain a part of our lives… but, for now, I have a wrought iron sleigh bed that is almost the opposite of the bed we once shared. It’s a concrete reminder that I am in a new phase of life.

So yesterday, Jeremiah and I dismantled my marriage bed, and assembled the new one I will share not with a husband, but with the dog I’ve renamed Magnolia – Noli for short. And today, while she’s being spayed in preparation for coming home, I’m catching up on what didn’t get done yesterday, and preparing my room for her occupancy and recovery.

And life goes on…..

Join us tomorrow (OK, later today), when we’ll explore Quagmires and Questions.

Peruse more potent P posts!

Magnolia (Noli) Burton, April 18, at the shelter. Photo credit: Lise Burton





I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

2 thoughts on “P is for Preparing Ourselves and Our Home: #atozchallenge, Day 16

    1. Thank you. She is settling in well, and she is such a love! I’m trying to type while she’s draped over my knees…she LIVES to snuggle, apparently, and has been running at a deficit for a while.

      I gotta say, I know the feeling. =)

Take a chance! Type something in this box, and see what happens! =D

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s