by Mary Anna Kruch

I like to think of death
as a time of reunion –
a tonic to our grief.
As though babies miscarried,
dear friends lost and parents gone
have passed on beyond ashes
to another realm, perhaps as spirits
seen or unseen.
I swear I felt my mother’s hand
gently pat my shoulder
when I stopped to catch my breath
in a panic attack,
and I know I glimpsed my father
driving West on 696 near our old home –
same model light green Oldsmobile,
same slightly-stooped shoulders
and lovely head of wavy hair.
I saw him from the back
but I felt his presence
as surely as his arm held mine
as he walked me down the aisle,
and as he carried me as a child
up and down the hall –
no bears under the bed / no danger at the door.
Even the girl who bullied me in high school
who had died young
emerged from my yearbook pages,
kind, compassionate —
her sneer replaced by a benevolent smile.

Mary Anna Kruch is a career educator and writer. She supervises Northern Michigan University student teachers and leads Williamston Community Writers. Her poetry appears in The Remembered Arts Journal, River Poets Journal, Plum Tree Tavern, Credo Espoir, Red Wolf Journal, Mused, and The Mark Literary Review. Her first poetry collection will be published in the summer of 2019.

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