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early morning sunlight sparks golden

A few weeks ago, I hosted a poetry workshop where we played with Dictionary Poems. I randomly chose 5 words from the dictionary: spark, validate, tears, relative, and flair. The objective was to write about a place we've traveled to. This is the poem I created with those words.



Early morning sunlight sparks golden,

glittering across waves and piles of sand.


Tears splash down my cheeks.

I hold you close,

breathe your memory in,

give thanks for your words,

your hands,

your stories and barrage of questions,

your smile that reveals the simple delight of being my mama


I miss the way we’d ponder the meaning of zero

or the value of relativity versus absolutes,

the way we could talk about everything and nothing all at once.


It was two years ago

when we sat on this same bench,

staring out at the same but different waves,

and you surprised me with your validation.

You said you thought I was absolutely perfect,

doing an amazing job

at life

at everything

For some reason, I hadn’t heard that before.


It’s quiet now.


Your flair for words and conversation silent in the air around me.

But I see you still.

I see you in the spirit that endures inside of us,

the sandcastles with wet, drippy sand melting down the side

the Indian maidens dancing on the water

the art you created that hangs on the wall

and inside us all

the slow, steady heartbeat as Papa cooks and putters around the kitchen,

following directions you etched onto the recipe card years ago.


You surround me with your spirit.

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