The Morning After


“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ~Leo Tolstoy

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”  ~Anne Lamott

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”  ~John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
I didn’t write in May. Not a poem, not a blog post, not a journal entry.  I was too exhausted, too empty. Some days I didn’t even make it out of bed. I’m not too sure I wrote anyone a decent email, save the ones I wrote to “him”. We spent much of the month of May, and part of June conversing in emails and text messages, and sorting through the rubble of our life together. This might seem an alien sort of undertaking. You may think me a glutton for pain, or too kindhearted in my efforts to honor my heart, and my love for a man who after five years made the choice to end our relationship because his other lover insisted he choose or lose her. The truth is, I’ve wondered whether it might be easier to just hold my anger tightly, and walk away. In fact, I tried to do just that. In April, while they were on their honeymoon in Ireland, I spent two weeks fortifying my decision to stop allowing myself to be hurt by these two people I’d once promised to love forever. I was spent, and could not bear any more. I was relieved at the silence after six months of turmoil and grief. But I did not stay there.


For me, there is a rightness in finding understanding and healing after such a traumatic, painful breakup. The truth is, the work is hard. I finally had the chance in recent weeks to share some of my deepest hurts from this experience. I also heard some of his deepest hurts, and accepted my responsibility for some of his pain. I can tell you, it sucks. I’ve spent days, crying, sobbing out that pain and frustration. I’ve talked about what we’ve learned, what we would change, and what we will do differently going forward. I’ve heard things that made it very difficult to hold onto my own self-righteous anger, and things that pushed me to acknowledge humanity and a need for forgiveness and understanding in those who hurt me.


I have learned how to ask for help, and I’ve enlisted some help in healing my own life. I am living again, being productive, creative and active. My heart is stronger, and “he” is my friend. I’m learning to be  good friend to him. Maybe, somewhere in the future, there will be a friendship with “her”. I don’t know. I just know that I feel good about the work I’ve been doing, and I can see light at the end of this dark night. The sun is coming and I can’t wait to feel her warmth on my shoulders. Life is good, even when it hurts. I’m glad to be here, in the light.

The Spring Wind (a rondeau)


The spring wind can’t stop it’s blowing.
It winds through trees like thread sewing.
Watch it: stitching for hours and hours,
piece a blanket of bright flowers,
to be washed in gentle spring showers.

This breeze blows softly, keeps going,
and the green grass starts it’s growing.
It has such magical powers,
the spring wind.

I’m sitting here fairly glowing,
long past the toil of our sowing.
Underneath a tree that towers,
in this lovely garden, ours,
such gratitude I’m now owing,
the spring wind.


For today’s prompt, write a weather poem. A weather poem can be a poem about a hurricane or tornado; it can be a poem about the weatherperson; it can be a poem about forgetting an umbrella on a rainy day; it can be big; it can be small; etc.


The rondeau is comprised of 15 lines across 3 stanzas with the first word or phrase from the first line represented as a refrain (R) and a rhyme scheme of 2 rhymes throughout (A and B). The rhyme and refrain scheme looks like this:

A (R)



The A and B lines are usually 8 or 10 syllables in length. The refrain is usually 1 to 3 words (or so).





The plaster cracks,
as the wind pulls upward —
roaring like a great hungry beast.

He claws at the boards,
the screeching of nails
fills the air as though
he’s tearing  a walnut shell.

He wants to reach inside,
grasp the meat,
dig it out and roll it ’round
in his teeth-filled mouth.

But he is famished;
his strength is waning.

Perhaps, if we hold a bit
of him inside our lungs,
he’ll tire and let go.

Maybe this shell will hold
and we will still find
our shelter inside.

Prompt #9 of the April 2014 Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day Challenge

For today’s prompt, write a shelter poem. Shelter might be a structure like a house, apartment, or hotel. Shelter could be a tent or cardboard box. Shelter could be an umbrella, overpass, cave, or car. Shelter could be a state of mind, part of a money laundering scheme, or any number of interpretations.

Link to the prompt:



Your break-up letter
cracked like ice
in my trembling hands,
bit my fingertips
like winter’s frost,
and froze my soul.

The ink, the paper,
the stamped envelope,
crumbled to snow
against my breasts.
I’m too cold, even
to thaw my tears.

You are now the winter
of my discontent.
I stare out my window
at spring’s bright sun,
hold my breath and pray
for the coming thaw.

Prompt #3 of the April 2014 Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day Challenge

“For today’s prompt, write a message poem. Messages can be delivered in a variety of ways: postcard, e-mail, text message, letter in a bottle, smoke signals, secret codes, jumbotron proposals, etc. Also, messages themselves can be simple, complicated, nice, mean, happy, sad, and so on. Get at it!”

Link to the prompt:


The March wind comes
and like white raindrops
pear blossoms launch 
into its river, buoyed 
in the current, drifting 
into puddles at my feet.
I harbor them in pockets
these promissory notes
that hint of summer
and golden sweetness
beneath my tongue.


Prompt #2 of the April 2014 Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day Challenge

“For today’s prompt, write a voyage poem. In my case, we’ll be driving along the Gulf of Mexico, but a voyage can happen in a variety of ways–even on foot, or psychologically. Heck, the process of writing a poem is a sort of voyage all its own. Happy poeming!”

Link to the prompt:

Changing Winds


The February and March winds
shift places, howling through
the hollow at the base of this hill.

I follow my feet, each step
an upward fight, I’ve only
a faint idea where to go.

Hoping to find my breath
borrowed by bleak winter days
stretching on without rescue.

The March wind tapped today
on my door, beckoned me with
the offer of her temperate hand.

I did not linger long in the shadow
of my doorway, as she lead me out.
Even she knows I can’t resist escape.


The exercise is to create a poem using a set number of given words.  My words:  faint, rescue, offer, escape, and shift.  My source for these is the @baffled #HaikuChallenge: (words for 2/16-2/21) Image credit: