The Death of Our Daughter

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

selling cookies

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

and hear

the darks

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.

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