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Your Sestina

(a poem to be read out loud)

Sleepless nights thinking about ways
but none of us believed it, none of us aware
because of the depth. You would have planned
and we should have made sure
the good-byes would have been handled better.

What a joke, death handled better
before a full life to be lived by you.
Sons under the shining sun by your side. Sure
simple silvery memories will be ways
they will never forget the life you planned
for them to live a life of the living, aware.

So many miraculous moments to keep them aware
of how the beautiful Earth would be better
for all the people with just a little planned
kindness found inside of me and you.
The many small, insightful, insignificant ways.
Just be friendly to others always, first, to be sure.

You’d be proud, pleased, how he is handling it. Sure
he has those days depression makes him more aware
of your tender and caring ways.
They slide by; some much better.
Some filled furiously missing you.
That life — it’s over — the two of you planned.

All for the best was planned
for a family of four, he was sure.
Not the lost boys broken-hearted for you.
They try searching for smiles, always aware
chasing ladybugs and butterflies — they make it better.
Remembering your spirit in wondrous ways.

They’ve changed, made compromises. Ways
they think to contain little memories, not planned.
Sometimes breaking even, sometimes better.
Showing pictures, jewelry and spraying perfume. Sure
we will invest in cases, not running out, we’re aware.

Remember, there was no one loved more than you.
the goodbyes would have been handled better
sleepless nights thinking about the ways
I’ve thought about how I’ve failed you
because of the depth. You would have had it planned,
and we should have made sure
but none of us believed it; none of us was aware.

~ Kathleen Clarke Anderson


Read our introduction to find out more about Chalkboard’s “Readings” project, respond to this poem, or submit your own work:


This poem was originally published in The Creative Café and is used here with permission of the original publishers. Thanks, Jake.

Photo by Quang Le (Pexels)
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