On the anniversary of your death

Only a few days away,
and nine years on, I recall
the luminous hope that opened
like a flower in my heart,
when you opened
your eyes.

Death had not got its way.

You perched on the windowsill
of life, not yet ready
to spread your wings,
still tethered by earthly things.

Hope was still shining on the day
you called to let me know
you were home,
about the money for my birthday,
as if nothing had happened,
asked me to take care of mum
if anything should happen.

And it did: with only four days to go,
happy birthday greetings departed with you,
a brutal goodbye with no words.

Just the imprint of a sudden fall
downstairs, and the memory
of swimming at the local pool,
your strong hands buoying
me as I splashed,
washing back over me in waves
of grief.

Kim M. Russell, 2nd August 2020


A poem for Poets and Storytellers United Writers’ Pantry

47 thoughts on “On the anniversary of your death

  1. I just love and felt this deeply. The opening flower, heart and eyes pulled me awake right away. The waves of grief and the memory of being buoyed by him really touches me and is a wonderful image to close the poem on. We are so tethered here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s often hard (for me, at least) to express my grief in words. You have done an excellent (if painful) job of expressing yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a wonderful photo – and such loving history in your poem. Sigh. I really felt this one. I especially loved the perching on the windowsill of life, not yet ready to spread his wings………..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Kim, my heart just broke a little… and my thoughts flew on the wings on crows into fields full of memories of my grandmother and my little brother and other loves now gone. So much feeling in this one. I don’t cry often, but this piece left me weeping. ((🖤))

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Long ago I wrote a poem of loss that said “We live day by day always thinking we’ll have time to say things on the morrow, but death takes away all those chances and we’re left full of words in our sorrow”.
    Your beautifully expressive poem recalled those words to me, and my emotions at the time I wrote them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t believe the impeccable timing in which I stumbled across this poem. My father died three years ago on August 11. Each year, the season and the anniversary week brings with it a fog and a weightiness that only those who have lost can understand. Beautiful reminder of the hope that comes with knowing where one’s loved one is.


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