This is how I grieve: I take pictures of trees.
I may be saying goodbye with photographs.
Here, a branch of pink blooms against a blue sky,
and a petal against the lens. There, the whirl
of violent camellia against the dark green leaves.
I want to remember what it is about earth
that I might miss. You, standing tall underneath
the branches, among the flowers, smiling.
I taste each bite of fruit sadly, the bite of sour plum
or the mild sweetness of melon, like I might forget.
I can’t write you a note about this, I won’t say
So long, farewell, like I’m going on a trip.
All I can do is capture these reminders, frame by frame,
these calls to life, to bleeding and feeding and ferociously
taking up space and time. Here, these flowers say, here we were.



Photo by Stefano Corso


About Author

Jeannine Hall Gailey is the Seattle-area author of Becoming the Villainess (Steel Toe Books, 2006) and She Returns to the Floating World (Kitsune Books, 2011) which is an Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal finalist. Her poems were featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac and on Verse Daily; two were included in 2007’s The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, and Crab Orchard Review; she reviews books for The Rumpus. She volunteers as an editorial consultant for Crab Creek Review and currently teaches part-time at the MFA program at National University.

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