Thursday, November 10, 2022

Out of the Shadows

Since the hot, sandy winter
of your continuous goodbye

burst with a red pop

that filled my screams with copper,

I’ve been seeing your face

behind oozing scarlet


The calendar lies,
saying that only years have gone by—
my heart, my flesh wounds
have ached for centuries.

Century-long winters
of nightly cold sweats

looking at your ageless face
behind clotting scarlet


Then, last night, I spoke
your picture into the mind of another.
He didn’t say,

“It’s okay to hurt”

“Have faith on faith”

“You must forgive yourself”

“It wasn’t your fault”

If it wasn’t my fucking fault,
what is there to forgive!

He only voiced the kind wisdom
of those who have been there.
He stood by me—
holding memory’s hand,
listening to pain,
speaking through deep silences,
reminding my old scars
that his hurt understood
they sought no consolation,
just the chance
to share our yesterdays with another.

Today, at sunrise,
I pulled your face out of my soul
watched you wave another last
felt the sun
wipe copper out of memory
and banish scarlet shadows,
as you hiked
(MOLLE pack full of smiles)
towards the Summerland.

photo by Aurelie Tack, on Unsplash

- for Poets and Storytellers United - Friday Writings #52: Dialogue.


  1. I have much fellow-feeling for this, having recently been compiling a chapbook called 'Letters to a Dead Man'. And with Samhain/ Halloween and other 'days of the dead' happening in so many countries recently, I think it's natural that we have these conversations and reflections, which move us a little further along the journeys of grief and love. It's a beautiful poem, Magaly – and how good that you have someone of 'kind wisdom' to stand by you and hold your hand.

  2. This resonates at many levels..especially needing someone to hold memory's hand and share yesterdays with.. excellent

  3. The perfect PTSD nightmare poem for Veterans Day, or Remembrance Day, as we call it here in Canada. I'm sure most vets who saw active service are haunted in this way.

  4. There is much grief, even anger in this superb poem. Sometimes it is hard to let go, really hard. Just ask those looking for a father, a brother, or a son at The Wall in D.C.

  5. "The calendar lies,
    saying that only years have gone by—" How can it only be years when it feels like forever.

  6. A deep and deeper look at loss. I hear ya.

  7. A beautiful poem.
    Sending my good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  8. Very deep and affecting; loss well-captured!

  9. Anyone who has had a major loss in their lives can feel the strength of this piece right down to their bones. It's a bittersweet story in poetic form and I am here for it. <3

  10. The depth of your writing this week knows no bounds ... I attended the performance of a world premier of a play written by a Bend local ... Craig Fox Had a Wife ... about the husband she lost in Vietnam, the war, the aftermath of her journey to that place he died ... many years later. I am still reeling from the performance yesterday.

  11. My goodness, this poem is stunning, Magaly. Painful, yes, but its beauty is unmistakable. The whole of that first stanza leading us into the journey is sublime. And then how it opens up and tells us more, finally letting go of the burden at the end with such absolute pleasure to read.

  12. I am breathless with you words. So full of deep emotions. The ones people hide. Your bravery reveals them, shows them off, sends them off into the universe. I love this.


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