Stay

Please let me stay

I don’t want to go

Over there

Finger pointing

To the dark window

On the second floor

Orange blanket

Blows outside the 

Window

Please don’t leave me

Small hand gripping

In panic

Belly growls

Hungry

Curled up on the 

Washer machine

Covered in a military blanket

Shhhhhhh

Don’t tell them 

I’m here, ok?

Please feed me

I need love

I can’t say if I’ve ever

Known true love

Unconditionally

Please let me stay

Just for a minute

Where it’s safe

And I feel loved

Not alone

Ten years old

I shouldn’t 

Feel so all alone

Please let me shower

And borrow 

Your clothes

I don’t know how to wash 

Can you help me?

Do you see me?

I’m ten years old

And I’ve never known

Safety 

Never known 

A warm bed &

Soft pillows 

A full belly

Three hot meals a day

Unknown to me

Please let me stay

I don’t want to go

Over there

Finger point to the dark window 

On the second floor 

Burns

It burns

This heartache

My lungs burn

I can’t breathe

I’m wanting to flee

But my breath

Is torn from me

It burns

The closer you get

To me

The harder I fall

She can’t support me

I can’t help myself

It burns

And blisters

This fear

Invades my nostrils

And everything

Stinks

Those eyes

So sad

Burn an image

In my brain

That won’t leave me

I can’t run

I don’t want to 

But I must

This legacy burns

A panic in my heart

That can’t 

Be shaken off me

That smile 

Sad smile

Good-bye

Burns my heart

I want to stop 

Spinning in circles

What is my new normal? 

It burns

I can’t

Breathe

This road goes on

Forever

As I flee 

This heartache burns 

Gardenias & Peach Roses

Dying in the hospital bed

Soft skin, ice chips

Lips cracked and parched

Distended stomach

IVs gurgling in and out of veins

Tumors running rampant

Swallowing internal organs for snacks

A five year battle- ovarian cancer

Touching hands, kissing fingertips- Internalized prayer

“God, if you make her better, 

I will take her place.”

Not better

Emotional pain for those waiting

Sorrow

Tears

Monitors blink

Family members fidget in chairs 

Like little girls having to pee

Opting to hold it for as long 

As they possibly can

Last snuggle in the hospital bed 

Your last sweet breath tickling her ears

Death in her arms

Gardenias and peach roses

The funeral was beautiful

Such a beautiful day

Oh to touch your soft skin one more time

Sun so bright

Orange leaves speckle the mountainside

Hazy sadness lurking behind eyes 

Tears rolling down cheeks

Feeling faint

Sobbing, grabbing at arms…any

A peach rose in hand

Puzzled faces as I drop peach roses and gardenias on a cherry wood casket

I’ll remember her

Every time I see a peach rose or smell gardenias on a sunny day,

I will think of her

Jeni McCreary

*Dedicated to my Grandma Joyce, my Mom & my Aunties. No child should have to hold their parent in their arms when they die, but maybe it is a blessing? My Mom is the little girl in the sweet dress.

Casualties of War

Casualties of War

Father screams for his son

Lying limp in his arms

Needing help, desperate for it

As bombs explode overhead

Casualties of War

Chaos 

Burned flesh

Their scent blowing in the air

Little boy with eyes missing

Can you hear him weeping?

For his children?

Both sides, all his

Casualties of War

Tears, wailing, all wanting quiet

A little peace

A little joy

A chance to be free

Faces silent, mourning

Still living

Eyes staring darkly into photo lenses

Hostility growing

Mothers wailing the loss of their children

Food delivered

Running for safety

Casualties of War

Sirens blaring

Civilians trying to get food

Suddenly are on the ground

Praying they are not next

Casualties of War

Death

Alone 

Dying, both sides

Bloody babies cradled 

In weeping mothers’ arms

Casualties of War

Can you hear him weeping?

Silent Sentries

Silent sentries 

Standing in murky mud

Heads bowed in defeat

Large yellow bulldozers stand guard

Wary of the unified Wood Storks

That have gathered

Muddy, silent, hungry

Unified Wood Storks poised, patient, waiting…

Frogs croak lazily, not realizing 

They are surrounded

Fifty strong sentries standing 

In murky mud- hungry

Frogs suddenly silenced 

Swimming in warm bellies

Large yellow bulldozers nervously 

Await their fate

From the silent sentries standing guard

In the murky mud

Tragedy Happens

Misunderstood

Judgments crept in

Minds made up

BOOM

Tragedy happens

Too many times in succession

Suddenly the haze clears 

Everything becomes crystal clear

Appreciation for our now

This moment

Please understand

Initially we misunderstood each other

Now I see you in their eyes

Their actions

The way they talk

The way they walk

The way they laugh

Small details in the most

Intricate things

Witty sayings

Silly ways

You’re still here

We are more for it

Shouldn’t we honor those in our now? 

Adore them?

Love them?

Cherish them? 

Misunderstandings happen

Maybe we should always think about

Positive intention

Family-to-family

Friends-to-friends

Sometimes altered forever

Thankful for the gift 

Of tragedy 

It reminds us of what is true

In our lives

Right now

Anesthesia Fog

I woke in the recovery room 

To the smell of hospital soap and anesthesia

The sound of the beeping heart monitor 

The IV gurgling in my veins

Bleary-eyed I tried to focus on the Doctor’s voice 

He rubbed my hand, “We had to do a hysterectomy”

I gulped, eyes closed, anesthesia lulling me back to sleep

I opened one eye, trying to focus on the nurse, 

“Did I hear that correctly? Did he say hysterectomy?” 

“Yes.” 

I remember turning my head and looking out the window

The sky was cloudy and gray

It was going to storm

Lightening flashed in the distance

My eyes grew heavy once again

I succumbed to the anesthesia fog 

And remembered thinking, 

“But we had already picked your name…”