Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Just to Feel Alive"

This poem is from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

"Just To Feel Alive"

Dale and Kelly were out walking
when Dale stopped suddenly
and said, "I miss this."

What do you miss? Kelly signed.

Dale waved her hand at
Copp's Hill Terrace Park
rising above them.

"I miss walking through
the old burying ground," she said.
"When I was a little girl, I used to come
here and walk among the headstones,
making up stories about the people and
watching for the first daffodils to bloom."

Dale's titanium cane tapped
restlessly against the pavement.

That must have been beautiful,
Kelly replied, looking up the slope.
Of course you feel sad that you
can't do that anymore.

"I miss climbing the terraces in
the spring, when the trees are
blooming," said Dale, pointing out
the billows of pink. "The petals fall off
the branches and pile up like rosy snow,
all down the steps and around the benches."

Pink snow, Kelly signed, laughing.

"When I was in the police academy,
I used to come here with other cadets,"
Dale said. "We would run up and down
the steps, competing to see who could go
the fastest, the longest, the most laps.
We ran ... just to feel alive."

Dale sighed. "I think that's what I
miss the most now, that feeling of being alive."

Kelly grabbed her moping wife and kissed her breathless.

After long minutes, Kelly released Dale and
asked her, How do you feel now?

"Like going to bed," Dale said
with a salacious grin.

* * *


Copp's Hill Terrace is a park in Boston. See the daffodils, blooming trees, petals on steps, and petals around bench.

An acquired disability can cause depression and grieving. Typically this fades over time as the person adapts, but like any grieving process, reminders can refresh the pain at any time. Dale is far enough along that her limp and its limitations don't bother her often, and Kelly tends to handle it by first acknowledging the loss then redirecting Dale's attention in a more positive way. There are tips on coping with loss.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fishbowl, gender studies, life lessons, poem, poetry, reading, romance, weblit, writing
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