The following is by Writers in the Grove member, D.K. Lubarsky.

I cannot mourn in front of my children,
I cannot share the sorrows and tears of age and illness
Nor cry from the depth of my heart
Nor speak of the profound and lingering losses
I cannot tell them of the pain I feel at times
They do not want me to know

I cannot mourn with my children
They choose not to see the shriveled arms and shuffling gate
“You are fine,” they sing in their frantic dance of life
“You underestimate yourself,” they call over their shoulders
As they race through sunny fields, flying off to catch their young
Leaving me far behind in their wake

Confident full-fledged adults, with steam engine powered muscles
Their throttles smashed forward against infinity
They recognize on some transient level, I suppose
That I am something else
A specter of the mother they once had
Tho’ purposely not examined too closely
For then they might have to acknowledge their proximity of loss
In their world of distant horizons

So I cannot mourn my losses with my children
But I thank God for my friends
Equal in age and weariness
We sit around the table stacking our wounds like poker chips
Unashamed confessions
Tethered with nods and sighs, handclasps and hugs

Learning from one another how to step forward
How to keep laughing
In spite of it all
To appreciate simple pleasures
And each other

We grieve and giggle on the same breath
Then breathe, grieve, and giggle once more.

And at day’s end
I come away stronger for their strength
So that I can return to the children I adore and listen as they say
“See, I told you that you were okay.”
Never comprehending how close to the edge
I was when first awakening to morning’s light

But perhaps I am better off
Being able to glean from their perspective
Knowing that for now, this very moment,
I truly am okay.


Prompt: Side Effects

The following poem was written by Writers in the Grove member, Paula Adams, in response to reading the fine print on a bottle of the prescription medication Lyrica. It became our prompt for the week, explained below.

Prescription LYRICA is not for everyone

Drug Pill Bottle TopTell your doctor right away about
any serious allergic reaction that causes

  • swelling of the face,
  • mouth, lips,
  • gums, tongue,
  • throat,
  • neck
  • hands,
  • legs
  • and feet,
  • rash, hives or blisters.
  • or any trouble breathing

LYRICA may cause suicidal thoughts or actions
in a very small number of people.

Patients, family members or caregivers should
call the doctor right away if they notice

  • suicidal thoughts or actions,
  • thoughts of self-harm, or
  • any unusual changes in mood or behavior.
  • new or worsening depression,
  • anxiety,
  • restlessness,
  • trouble sleeping,
  • trouble waking,
  • panic attacks,
  • anger, irritability,
  • agitation,
  • aggression,
  • dangerous impulses or
  • violence, or
  • extreme increases in activity
  • or talking.

If you have suicidal thoughts or actions,
do not stop LYRICA without first talking to your doctor. (more…)