Posted in [poetry], [witchcraft & wonder]

hard won gifts from the dead [poem]

I’ve always had this weird relationship with the dead
one where I stand here
reaching back in time with my gratitude
sometimes wishing I could speak with them in person

for example
the first man to guide me along my spiritual path
died as I was just learning how to read
his books would come to me
in those twilight years between childhood
and adulthood
opening my eyes to the wonders of nature and magic

my grandpa died and taught me a lesson too
the news of his passing
a message passed across the ocean to me
I cried and promised him that
I’d end the strained silence between my dad and me
before it was too late

and then there was a miscarriage
an unexpected loss that scooped out a part of me
and made me face the lies I told myself
about motherhood and femininity
and my own dreams

later I cried for the girls who killed themselves
after violent hands took from their bodies
and the bullying outweighed their will to keep on living
they taught me how to weigh my own words
against the pain they may cause
to remember their power to hurt as well as to heal
and contrary to my naive heart’s belief
you really can’t save everyone

the dead are beyond this place
their souls somewhere only death can take you
but the lessons they’ve given me are hard won gifts
I can only repay by living


bookdragon, poet, witch

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