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Ship Rock, New Mexico, June 2019. Copyright © Michael D. Warden. All rights reserved.


It’s like a parting

you never wanted to come

a kissing goodbye

and then

a long slow silence

covering your skin

like a chill

in all the places you once embraced

It’s a kind of disappearance

a forced release

like when the burst

of lightning fades

and the rumble of the thunder

trails off into the night

and all that’s left to you

is the afterimage


into your eyes

haunting you with longing

And then, at last, the grieving

as you finally allow yourself

to recognize it all for what it is

a disappointed dream

a possibility flashed into being

only to fade

far too soon

Be gentle now

with your soul

mind your self

with tenderness

Your heart will be whole

in the end

but for now we walk

every day

with loss nestled at our side

comforting us

even as he coaxes

one more fading dream

from our quivering grasp

“Let it go now,”

he says, kindly.

“It’s all right.

You can let it go.”

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