Afterlife

when it’s time

kneeling, bowed head

nothing uttered

all felt

describing life and its

merry dance of thieves and joys

pockets picked, cheeks pinched

the rosy after-glow of loss and gain

shaken out blankets beneath trees

mystery of indentations past and present

who lay watching nests built

careful and with slow deliberation

before I lived how could I

describe the outline of love

moving in rapid sync as

tired swimmer in from cold

just as you give up on believing

raking autumn leaves, someone smiles

and breaking across their holy face

a connection of electric worth

for the lonely are not lost

they wander in search of hope

throwing sticks for panting dogs

breaking through water, flying in indigo bloom

a new season turns her heal toward sun

this afterlife will feel a familiar place

of lost faces, angels made of earthly composite

reflecting in the eyes of smiling ancestors

we will feel tears on our cheeks

burnished leaves falling in their spiral

where all things are forever and

the call of owls brings night fall


like a smooth glaze of assurance

tapping windows with sleet

closing up house, warm and merry

we step into the beckoning echo

30 thoughts on “Afterlife

  1. Candice, this has such a serene yet intense feel to it. It’s a great blend of loss, love, fear, and peace. Especially here:

    “for the lonely are not lost
    they wander in search of hope
    throwing sticks for panting dogs
    breaking through water, flying in indigo bloom

    a new season turns her heal toward sun
    this afterlife will feel a familiar place
    of lost faces, angels made of earthly composite
    reflecting in the eyes of smiling ancestors”

  2. “before I lived how could I
    describe the outline of love” this really held my attention and I reread a few times. Thank you for sharing such beautiful words

  3. I’ve taken the last line of each stanza, because for me they were so expressive, and then I put them together, and I loved the result…
    “all felt
    the rosy after-glow of loss and gain
    careful and with slow deliberation
    tired swimmer in from cold
    a connection of electric worth
    breaking through water, flying in indigo bloom
    reflecting in the eyes of smiling ancestors
    the call of owls brings night fall
    we step into the beckoning echo”
    I hope you didn’t mind my structuring your words in this way, as I was reading the poem, these lines jumped out at me, and I knew they’d read well together.

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