Brittle Leaves, a poem

The other day I showed a co-worker my new poetry book, Everything I Am Not Saying. She noticed I dedicated it to “Connor”, and wondered who that was. I told her he was my third child who died just a few months before he was supposed to be born. She and I connected over our shared experience of child loss, sharing a few tears over a time when our innocence was replaced by the brutal parts of life – the reality that sometimes children do die. She then read my poem, “Brittle Leaves”, the poem I wrote for Connor after he died.

Here is the poem in its entirety. You can find this poem, and about 80-something others here —-> http://amzn.to/16TZB3q

Brittle Leaves

It is in the golden brown of brittle leaves
that I think of you most.
My breath,
suspended momentarily
in a cloud of warmth against the crisp air,
expanding from its small containment
and reaching to the earth and sky,
breathes for you.

You exist between each click of the second hand,
when time momentarily stops
and all that can be heard
is the deafening roar
in the silence of a stilled heart.
The mornings are darker, the days shorter,
the hours precious as time slips by….
I wonder if I had only loved you more
would you still be here today?
The dates set in stone
that I have traced my fingers over
again and again
are etched in my mind
much more complete
than the memory of your face
that has faded with time.
Yet I know you by heart.

It was in the golden brown of brittle leaves
where you said your goodbyes
in a moment only we shared,
when the world around us
disappeared for a time,
leaving us floating in suspended reality
where all I felt was you
fluttering faintly from my grasp.
Yet with each setting of the summer moon
and rising of the autumn sun,
when the leaves turn from green
to red
to a golden brown,
I smile at your spirit
that exists in the laughter of a child
and floats in the wind
with the remnants of trees.
Peace has melted together
the broken figments
of my injured heart,
revealing the beauty in leaves of golden brown,
gently holding them before letting them drift away,
watching them stay strong in the wind
while knowing they could shatter in an instant,
setting you free with a delicate prayer
of love for an autumn’s child.

11 thoughts on “Brittle Leaves, a poem”

  1. Shawn L. Bird – Shuswap Lake, BC – Shawn Bird is an author, poet, and educator in the beautiful Shuswap region of British Columbia, Canada. She is a proud member of Rotary.

    What a beautiful tribute.

  2. Pamela Fender – Sonoma County, California – I am the author of Beside Myself: Recovery From My Family Betrayal and Estrangement-A Memoir. I've been published in the Redwood Writers Poetry Anthology 2014, And The Beats Go On, the Redwood Writers Poetry Anthology 2016 Stolen Light, and the Redwood Writers Anthology Untold Stories 2016. I am currently a notary public and certified signing agent. When I'm not writing, I'm practicing yoga, swimming or going to the gym or playing with my two Havanese doggies.

    Your poem touched me deeply.
    This is the time of year I lost my dear twin brother. I have written a haiku for him; the autumn is when I fell my loneliness.
    If you’d like to take a look at it, I’d be glad to send it to you.
    Thank you for sharing a deep part of yourself.
    pamela fender

    1. Crissi Langwell – Crissi Langwell writes romance, women's fiction, young adult novels, and more. Her passion is the story of the underdog, and her stories include ones of determined heroines, family issues, free spirits and more. Beyond writing, Crissi is an avid bookworm, loves to meditate, and has tiny muscles from weight lifting. You have to look closely. She pulls her inspiration from the ocean, and breathes freely among redwoods. Crissi and her husband are both Northern California authors with day jobs. Currently they are kicking their kids out the nest (2 down, 1 to go!), and can't help spoiling their beautiful, bratty Maine Coon cat.

      I’m so sorry about your loss, Pamela. That is so hard. I’d love to read your poem.

  3. dear occupant – a partner, a father, an ex-painter turned storyteller, a collector of small details that would otherwise go unnoticed, dipping a tentative toe into poetry.....so now of course i have to write about love, which i do, but a fairest of warnings friends if you haven't already noticed, i have a well of melancholy a mile deep......

    Chrissi, i felt such resigned sadnes in your words, like the inevitability of seasons,
    as if spoken through the lense of time. especially in this passage:
    I smile at your spirit
    that exists in the laughter of a child
    and floats in the wind
    with the remnants of trees.

    i’m so sorry Chrissi, i just can’t imagine….we had a serious medical scare with my daughter a few years ago, luckily all was resolved but i nearly lost my mind when things were still.in doubt. you humble me including my poem as a reference here, ty, ty so much.

    1. Crissi Langwell – Crissi Langwell writes romance, women's fiction, young adult novels, and more. Her passion is the story of the underdog, and her stories include ones of determined heroines, family issues, free spirits and more. Beyond writing, Crissi is an avid bookworm, loves to meditate, and has tiny muscles from weight lifting. You have to look closely. She pulls her inspiration from the ocean, and breathes freely among redwoods. Crissi and her husband are both Northern California authors with day jobs. Currently they are kicking their kids out the nest (2 down, 1 to go!), and can't help spoiling their beautiful, bratty Maine Coon cat.

      Time has a way of healing all. The memory will always be there, but the pain is not. Now I can look at the large picture and get a sense of why things turned out the way it did. But I think I will always wonder what might have been.

      I’m glad your daughter is okay. In a perfect world, bad things would never happen to little children.

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  5. cindamackinnon – cindamackinnon.wordpress.com – Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon grew up in Latin America (plus a few years in Europe). Her experiences and love for the people, culture and natural setting of Colombia and Costa Rica resulted in her award winning novel, A Place in the World.....her background enables her to weave in details on tropical nature and geology, as well as Latin American society, into her writing. She lives in northern California with her husband and their golden retriever. Blog posts range from writing, multicultural topics, the expat experience and nature.

    This is really beautiful Crissi. I still have goosebumps from reading it.

    1. Crissi Langwell – Crissi Langwell writes romance, women's fiction, young adult novels, and more. Her passion is the story of the underdog, and her stories include ones of determined heroines, family issues, free spirits and more. Beyond writing, Crissi is an avid bookworm, loves to meditate, and has tiny muscles from weight lifting. You have to look closely. She pulls her inspiration from the ocean, and breathes freely among redwoods. Crissi and her husband are both Northern California authors with day jobs. Currently they are kicking their kids out the nest (2 down, 1 to go!), and can't help spoiling their beautiful, bratty Maine Coon cat.

      Thank you Cinda. 🙂

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