The Shine Journal - The Light Left Behind

Journeys Through Grief and Beyond

Memory Stick
Alan D. Harris
I carry a memory stick
on a string
around my neck

My stick archives
1000 images
1,000,000 words

My stick helps me
remember who I am
who you are

My stick helps me
remember the first time
my child walked, talked
the last time
my grandpa laughed, cried

If I misplace my stick
I may forget
your name, my own

So archive my picture
on your stick
Mention the last time
you saw me laugh, cry

Carry me with you
until you forget
my name, your own

before your life
is but a frozen archive
on someone else’s
memory stick

The Door
Alan D. Harris
Taped across the family fridge
are visions from a child’s hand
proof the young girl loved to draw
in pencil, pen, and crayon.

Pictures of the family dog,
of a boat without an oar,
a drawing of a golden gate,
her bedroom window, and a door

Pictures drawn of things she knows
and things she’s never seen
She drew Jesus in a swimming suit
and the door she colored green

In fact the family's favorite
is not the dog, but is that door
which she drew in careful detail
though she’d not seen it before

The child from her death bed said,
as cancer opened Heaven’s gate,
"I’m gonna swim with Jesus to his boat
then behind the door I’ll wait…"

Alan D. Harris enjoys writing poetry and short stories based upon the life stories of friends, relatives, and total strangers. His work has appeared on four continents in as many languages. Harris earned the 2011 Stephen H. Tudor Award in Creative Writing at Wayne State University.

Contact Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

Send email to

Send to a friend

Share on Facebook

Share on Facebook