This story turned into a poem because it was so sad to write.
And so we stand in our kitchen talking
about the death
of our daughter
letting pasta boil too long on the stove
while the dryer calls out that it’s done with our darks.
He says that we cannot continue to
let so much mail pile up
and the bed go unmade
and I punch and yell that I have nothing
while he begs for me to know that I still have him.
But I don’t care what I still have
when I’ve lost
what was most
and I just want him to shut up and
answer the doorbell that steals my breath.
A sweet small child is standing there
wearing a dress
and I rush the steps three at a time
to her bedroom where I can still smell berries.
I hear his voice talking to her and
I want our little girl
to be back with me
and not six feet beneath a stone that
holds only eight years and all the days of my heart.
I hide my face in her blankets and dolls
that she loved more
than I can love him
because he’s let her go while I still
hold on and bleed out from so much pain.
I smell dinner that I will never eat
that I will never fold because I cannot
care about things like laundry and food and breathing.
I cannot care about anything more
than getting out
of this broken life
that has taken my knowing how to love
and left me with only these empty arms full of loss.
And so we stand in his kitchen
talking about the death of my daughter.