Music For Sunday ❤️

“This is our life
These are our friends
This is our family that grows and bends.
This is our chance
This is our time
This is us making things to somehow leave behind
What  will we leave behind to show
That this is our life”

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Then

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For my Grandfather, Woodrow Hawkins:

Seven years old, I rode
by my Papa in that big
Ford truck. His little June bug.
Jabbering away, too innocent
to notice the light fading away.
Foreshadowing the colder
hours that would settle over our
little house at the foothills of the
mountains. The oppressive chill
of loss, the darkening.

On that day, all I saw was green
with an undertow of adventure.
Happy to be with the first man
my soul ever loved.

Before the heart condition.
Before the heart attack.
Before I mistook the hour.
Before his death.
Before my Granny’s tears.
Before I knew the pain of grief.
Before the road before us
became the road behind us,
and I wasn’t old enough to
understand letting go.
And that everyone’s here
until one day they’re not.

The days of homemade ice cream,
piggyback rides, warm breezes
and my papa’s unconditional love.

When one precious moment merged
into another. Drinking lightness in
the light. Dizzy with lightness.

The gathering of the light as it
fell from the sky.
And thinking there’d still be
time to pour more.

And now I’ve lived long enough
to look back, to reflect;
and yearn for, even beg for,
the before, the sweet bliss
of not knowing what I would
come so desperately to miss.

-Tosha Michelle

Shadows of Death

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The shadow of my dead
grandfather cast itself
in my dreams some
nights.

I see his silhouette
walking down a deserted road.
I follow him for hours. Every
time I quicken my pace to
catch up, he quicken his
faster

There’s always a
ending but never a beginning.
Time refuses to fold back
Translucence wanders endlessly.
Papa’s the light darting through
my eyes.

I wonder if the dead remember?
Maybe in my dream I’m
looking for a clue that they
haven’t forgotten us,
that’s there truly is a spiral staircase to a better place.

Papa keeps moving
The bones stay quiet.
The ash refuses to speak
The moon gives me the dead eye.
What a thing to be so close
but hear no words

The night dissolves.
A squawk of a crow wakes me
My sadness steals the sun.
For now my question
remains unanswered.

-Tosha Michelle

Granny

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I’m snapping green beans
I bought at the store today,
thinking they would remind me
of Granny and sitting
at the kitchen table,
listening to her “well,
when I was your age” stories.

Hoping that just for a moment
I could hug her again,
feel the sureness of her being,
her sweet familiarly.

Go back before dementia
stole her mind,
and cancer her body.
The days of sweet tea,
peppermints, and house dresses.

Granny could solve any problem
with a hickory stick or a stern look.

I miss her, even now years later,
I can’t help but compose
her in a poem- warm hands,
dark hair, sadness
that never left her eyes,
a lifetime of hardships

For a moment I’m ten again,
and Granny gives me her Irish grin.
Something soft but fierce about her.
Finding joy in an orderly
home and things done right.

How solid and healthy
she looks laboring away
over green beans.
Singing her favorite hymn
“In the sweet bye and bye”
Light shimmering through the room.
Real but unreal.

“We shall meet on that
beautiful shore”
Her notes gradually
becoming fainter.
The words descending,
echos from the past.
Love in every syllable.

I listen as evening opens
around me.
Sorrow changes its pitch.
Thee last of the sunlight
streams in the windows.
Swelling, even as it
disappears, even as it waves goodbye.

-Tosha Michelle