0.2 First Mourning

el (1)

INDEPENDENT

0.2 … First Mourning

My neighbor picked me up
from the theater where I’d
been rehearsing for a show,
but though I was the one
in a production,
my neighbor was the one
playing a role.

Let’s go for ice cream,
he said,
more somber (and kinder)
than I’d ever seen him.
It was then that I knew…
poppy is going to die today.

After the ice cream
we came home,
where the frail figure
of my once formidable
fire chief grandfather
lay in a hospice bed,
clinging to his final moments.

He quietly asked how my day was.
I told him through tears, it was good.
According to my mother,
that simple question to me
was the last thing she heard him say.

He went as anyone should hope to…

  • Years after the doctors said he would
  • Surrounded by loving family
  • At home, in a room that he built

It was the first time
I watched someone die,
and it would not be the last.
But losing my grandfather
is what cracked me open,
the first wound
that infected my heart
with the poisonous
sadness o
f loss…


For more from this collection, visit

elluminations, vol. 0
INDEPENDENT

Click here to learn more about elluminations. This poem is also available on Medium.

Cover photo by   Greg Ortega   |   (First Mourning © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

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