The Day After

I know it’s been awhile since I shared any poetry but that’s because I’ve been working on some really great stuff.  I was going to give the excuse that I’ve been busy but let’s be honest…so is everyone.  That’s not really a valid excuse.

So I often write poetry while I’m in the car or walking.  I know! You thought texting while driving was dangerous.  I’m surprised I still have my license.  Although…I’m not really sure how they would ticket that.

Anyway, I write it in my head and memorize as I go.  Clare thinks I’m a total weirdo.  Good thing she can’t talk because she would totally tell everyone before I’m finished and give away the surprise.

This one I started writing in the car and immediately burst into tears. I often find myself dreading death. (I know right?) Not that I dread dying or the mystery it’s just that I’ve been so blessed in this life…it’s hard to imagine that heaven could be more beautiful. Maybe in heaven I don’t have to vacuum.

I hope you enjoy.  It’s color coded not because I have plans to become an elementary school teacher but because I want to give you the option of reading things separately or together.

The Day After

The day after you die

I will sit

On the floor of the kitchen

After everyone has gone

And eat

Potato salad, which I dislike

But which you loved

To make.

I will remember

You chopping endless spuds

Into a pile and


I will eat

An entire bowl

As if to say, “I wish you

Were here.”

The week after you die

I will see

A print of your boot

By the door.

Perfect –

The clods placed just so

Not one part


I will find

Little pieces of trash

On the counter that

You left.

I will remember

All the little pieces of rubbish

And leave them where I

Found them.

The month after you die

I will sit

In your car

Unable to bring myself

To sell.

I will run

My fingers along the steering wheel

Over the paint stain you kept

A secret.

I will lean

My head forward,

Hands on my face

And cry.

I will remember

The way you would reach

Your hand over to

Hold mine.

The year after you die

I will give

The tv to my nephew

And our movies to

Good Will.

I will find

One in particular

At the bottom of the stack,


I will remember

The way it felt

The first time you

Touched me.

I will see

You with me again

After all

This time

In her eyes

In his voice

In the things

Once mundane

Once Annoying

Once invisible.

I will find

The prints everywhere

Of you.


8 responses

  1. I think the colored poetry could be a real revolution. Seriously. Can you imagine how this could change the poetry world? Great idea.

  2. That was beautiful Valerie….makes me want to cry but not necessarily in a sad way. The poem is just precious….a lot of tender thoughts of love.

    PS….next time you come to NHC please tap me on the shoulder to let me know you are there….I missed seeing you and Clare. I bet she looked adorable.

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