The Shine Journal - The Light Left Behind

Journeys Through Grief and Beyond

Offerings From Ronda Miller



It is here, among the dust,
discarded books, some
read, many not, plots
remembered, most forgotten.

It is here, behind the wall,
encased through time, held
by a mind gone astray with
vision blank to the present,
not his presence.

It is here, susurration into
the night, Russian accent thick,
particles dangle heavy in air,
time suspended, vibrations of
laughter, tears, love, arguments, apologies, hellos, goodbyes.

It is here, among the rafters,
rattles her breastbone,
light, musical, harsh, scolding.
"Hear me still!"

"Here, be still," she replies, pats
the warm space next to herself,
drifts asleep to his voice
as it whispers in her ear;
her voice urgent in response.


Wherever Wind


Why fear when I know
which way the wind blows.
Any doubt and I walk from this
flat land to stand under the oldest cottonwood tree, high on the hill,
to feel spit dry upon one finger
held skyward.
Which direction will my ashes
carry once my remains no longer matter?
Will they shift and swarm like locust weathered during the depression?
Or, if the season is ripe, will they
wash through dry creek beds
during flash floods like the one
survived in the 50's?
Perhaps ashes sift, fine as silt,
upon prairie loess and flowering
meadows where bee and bird
alike carry them in all directions.
Or, maybe one blustery day,
ashes mix with flakes so large
they cover black earth within
seconds, layering upon
frozen ground.
Time no longer a factor.
Fear no longer a presence.
Wherever wind takes me,
I remain in Kansas.



Born into a world of bright
filled with round translucent
light, familiar faces surrounding.
Birth of children, red with passion,
the crowning glory of our youth.
Picnics on the ground where
green sprouted out of brown.
Nature supplying seductive,
musical sounds.
My frowns brought laughter as if
I was clown instead of mother.
Love held no boundaries.
Saying goodbye was an awful resound.
An echoing blackness floated all around.
Shapeless, it filled spaces left behind.
Memories of a hospital gown,
scents of death still hound.
Years not spent together wound
tight, a stabbing pain.
We thought we'd drown the summer
day we found the mound to scatter
ashes among his parents' tombs.
Those genes I'd carried in
my womb knelt beside me,
held my hands.
Beaded blue bled through
like a missing rosary.



Ronda Miller's favorite saying is, "Poetry is our most natural connection between one another." She has poetry in print and on-line including BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansaa Poems and To the Stars Through Difficulty: A Kansas Renga. She authored the documentary, "The 150 Pony Express Re-Ride". She works as a Life Coach with those who have experienced loss due to suicide or homicide.



Contact Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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