At eight years old.
I hold my Granny’s hand
The one that use to hold
my Papa’s hand
The one she
held for 32 years
The one she won’t
hold again.
I wonder how much
different mine must feel

We stand in a darkened room
Sharp with the taste
of ash and loss,
full of family and flowers
Tissues to cheek,
eyes red.
Grief pouring out,
like the holy spirit
at a Pentecostal revival

My Papa in his coffin.
dead. I struggle to
The adults talk of
angels wings, gossamer,
and light
Remarking how peaceful
he looks.
Granny lays her head
on mine and weeps

I place a rose
in Papa’s cold hand,
and kiss his cheek
Hoping he will
answer me
“Papa, I love you.
I’ll take care
of Granny
and hold her hand,
until she sees you again. “

In those few fragment moments
where consciousness
and grief collide.
I understand loss’ lexicon
That is comes off
like synthetic fabric
fused to a body
in a fire
taking skin with it

-Tosha Michelle

13 thoughts on “Papa

    1. Is only our first experiences with the death of a loved one, could be our last. My grandparents were instrumental in my upbringing. My papa spoiled me rotten. I could do no wrong in his eyes. I miss them both terribly.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I loved this so much… simply beautiful. I, like Niles, experienced my first great loss with my maternal grandfather on May 13, 1959. He died in his pampered tomato garden. The next day my father had his first of many heart attacks and died the year before I got married. They were the dearest men I ever knew, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of them. Michel Legrand’s song, Papa, Can You Hear Me? gets to me every time I hear it.

    Ellie xo ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, Tosha, you brought not just tears to my eyes, but weeping. The song reinforces your poem so much! I am reminded again that my 85 year old dad won’t be with me forever. Oh, how hard it will be when he goes . . . I just can’t imagine what you have gone through at your tender age.
    You are a dear, sweet soul. Thank you for sharing your words with us. 😉 ❤
    Would that I could share them with all the world.
    Peace, love & memories for all,
    Sherrie Miranda's historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
    Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:


  3. Tosha,
    This is so sad . . . I just found out Dan Fogelberg is dead. I had no idea that was why I no longer heard his beautiful lyrics and voice.
    I am trying to find a song he song about “Two Roads” or “The Road Not Taken.” Yes, similar to the Frost poem, but not those words exactly. It had a huge impact on me when I was young. Do you know the song?
    Thank you for all your words, Tosha. I don’t know why they are hitting me so hard today . . .
    Peace & love,
    Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
    Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:


      1. Poetry comes from different places, as I’m sure you know. I sometimes mine my life but often I read a line or hear a conversation (though not quite so frequently here in Turkey since my Turkish is limited) that conjures up an image and it sits on a piece of scrap paper until it works itself into a poem, or finds its way into a book I’m working on, or gets misplaced for a month or more until it resurfaces again.That’s part of the joy of writing: the connections we make that go beyond us and yet are us in ways we don’t often consciously know.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Sherrie Miranda Cancel reply

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