Archives for posts with tag: lost

Lost

The official letter
she had been holding
trailed to the floor
and she fumbled
with a bowl of aphids,
suddenly lacking her
usual appetite for them.

Feeling clumsy,
she set them free
by a windowsill.
The world outside
seemed unreal—
slow and dream-like.
“I must be in shock,”
she mumbled inaudibly.

The letter bore
the usual formalities
and some kind of fancy
seal that meant it was
from someone important,
someone who would
know what he knows,
and bears the responsibility
for conveying only
necessary information
and unfortunate facts.

“Ms. Ladybird,”
it began. “It is with our
sincerest sorrow that
we regret to inform you:
your house has completely
succumbed to fire, and
we were unable to locate
most of your children
in the blaze.”

The impersonal black
words on the white page
were burned into her mind’s eye.
Everything inside her railed
against the horror.

It continued.
“We were able to save
but one, who was hiding
at the time of the incident;
she will be in our custody
for the time being,
and you may retrieve her
at your earliest opportunity.
She is being attended by
our fine counselors and
receiving the utmost
professional attention
deemed helpful, as
she awaits your
return.”

“Ann! Ann!”
She cried aimlessly
into the summer air,
her eyes blurred by tears,
frantic and frozen
in her helplessness.

“We offer our
heartfelt condolences
for your terrible loss.
It is our duty at this time
to strongly urge you
to fly away home
at once, for the good
of your surviving child,
as well as for your own
welfare.”

In a daze,
she read the words
like a foreign language,
barely comprehending.

“Home…yes…home,”
she resolved, still shaken.

“But where is home?”

Claire Juno, © 2017

…inspired by the English nursery rhyme, “Ladybird, Ladybird”.
…dedicated to all who feel displaced in this world, whether by calamity or circumstance.

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Every Spring I Look

The daffodil greens birth themselves
out of the sleeping dirt, aiming for sunlight.

And there is a part of me that half-expects
your ring to be stuck on one of them,
rising from the grave and ready to tell
the tale of its mysterious disappearance
one fall day some years ago.

Like that woman in the news last spring
who pulled up a carrot from her garden
and found that it had slipped fortuitously
through a ring she lost, and grew as stout
as a finger to wear it on her behalf,
before graciously landing in her salad.

I wonder sometimes if you lost your ring
on purpose, letting me waste the money
on a metal detector and spend
afternoon upon cold afternoon
with our baby strapped to my back,
fruitlessly hunting, and thinking to myself
that with each passing year, wherever it is,
it will sink deeper.

Though come spring there’s a part of me—
the part, I suppose, that also believes in
fairies and wishing wells—
that keeps my eye on the daffodil greens
as they emerge from their winter’s sleep,
just in case one of them has something
to return to me.

Claire Juno, © 2013

 

…apologies to those following along, as they may have seen this one before. This is a re-post. Because it is spring, the daffodils have returned, and I am still looking.

Sad Lady with the Apple

You look so sad
standing there holding
that apple, folding
your hands patiently,
waiting for someone to share
your malady—
not because you wish them ill,
but for the company.

Once upon a time,
before all the trouble,
it was just a tree.
You were just you,
I was just me.
But now we’ve fallen
quite precariously
into a darker sea,
where nothing comes
so easily—
even breathing is a task
with no righteous mask.

We are as we are,
naked and empty-handed—
facing the spirits
that have banded
their forces against us:
their duty to remind us
to keep one eye open,
to never rest easy;
to mourn what was lost,
to count up the cost
of our squandered humanity.

Claire Juno, © 2012