The Shine Journal - The Light Left Behind

Journeys Through Grief and Beyond

THREE from David Sermersheim





Her Hand

I gently take
her thin frail cold hand 
for a moment in
timorous bond
as she smiles speaks 
warmly and I gratefully 
accept the blessings 
of a mother who entrusted 
her daughter to my care
though I do not see it as such

we have little to say 
of separate lives but
through her eyes I understand 
the meaning of her 
kindness shrouded in silence 
speaking of all that has
been lost in innocence 
on edge of receding time
advancing on all
ever so slowly
as our grip
weakens around fragile breath 
mere existence vanishing in transience


Her End

now all’s well
complete whole and
in its place

but often I
wonder how all
of it went

through the gradual
descent alone and
without warning of

what might come
at moment least
suspected with her

alone with the
sound slowly released
from her breath



when all that was
rests serenely 
in its place
a persistent question
will emerge of
why this was
how it came
to pass as
all moved in
accustomed manner through 
a maze of doubt 
inquiry persistence and
confusion of where 
why and how 
it claimed to be 
life in its myriad
forms and infinite variety
holding mystery wonder
dream and fantasy
wrapped in delusion
while time ran 
full and free 
and could not pause
to collect what fell away
in its cyclical round


David Sermersheim who taught at The Hotchkiss School for 33 years, is currently living in south-central Connecticut observing what moves around him. A note of explanation from author: "Her Hand" was written for my mother-in-law; "Her End" was written for my mother.

Contact Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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