Gone Before I’m Gone

(for Hailey Owens)
Last seconds can
wreck your mind
break the strong and
destroy the weak.
Angry words spoken,
love rushed and often
forgotten in the split
seconds of what
nobody knows
will be the last.
Imagined cries
and agonies of
the injured,
torment the living,
but I tell you this,
cause I heard it
spoken to me
plainly from those
gone by, “God took me
long before my reckoning,
and Angels held me while
you kissed me goodnight,
and my last memories were
of sunshine and delight,
cause I was already gone
standing right before your eyes
and while still in your arms.
So cry if you must
because I’m gone,
but rest in peace knowing,
God took me long before
I was already gone.”

The Price Paid

For just a moment, sit with me,

look at me, listen to what I say,
don’t let a photo capture
your body language screaming,
“I gotta get away.”

I’ve gone over and over,
again and again,
can’t figure out what it is
you’re running from
or when it began.

I don’t understand your choices,
can’t see how you could
choose anything but us.

I’ve been to crazy places in my mind
wondering night after night,
time after time, how anyone
could be everything you
failed to find in me.

I think I must stand for every price paid in your life.
What was a beginning for me,
was your last breath to survive.
I was good to you; a good friend, mother and wife.
But God help me. God forgive me. God spare my children this…

I just can’t be the death of everything you’ve missed.

Handle with Care

This was my life, so please handle with care. Each one in it, I once held dear. But you wanted it and took without regard. And although they went willingly, the losses for me have been hard. So cherish each second you live in my life. No, it wasn’t perfect, but it was once mine. As I look around me at the destruction and the ruins, I can’t help but think this has all been a game for you. I cannot even enjoy my memories without the aftertaste of betrayals and untruths. Many can shrug their shoulders, desensitized by today’s infidelities (or perhaps just glad it isn’t happening to them). Nonetheless, I suffer quietly. Few around me know or even care that although I go about my life – trying to forget, trying to repair – I cry without tears over the life you took from me. No, it wasn’t much, but it was once mine. So go ahead and claim it and handle with care.

Run, Baby, Run

to my grandmother and my daughter

Run, baby, run,
to the gates,
to the sun,
welcome her there
where you two can share
stories of home
and reunions to come.
one day we’ll
all be together.
You two can prepare
for our arrival there.

Run, baby, run
over golden streets
to the one,
she arrived today;
you’ll find her I pray
looking for you,
my little girl
taken too soon.
Embrace her,
for it’s been quite a journey;
hold her closely,
she’s a special lady.

Run, lady, run
to the victory
you have won.
A faithful servant,
conqueror of life,
you’ve walked with grace
during immense strife.
Memories are left us,
no one would’ve kept you here,
but still our hearts mourn you;
we cannot hold back our tears.

Run, lady, run,
to the gates
to the sun
embrace your loved ones,
family you’ve mourned for so long,
friends you’ve missed so much.
And if baby should find you,
cradle her close,
whisper her name
sing her a song.
And tell them all
we’ll soon be coming home.