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Amy Claire Massingale

Easter morning

Early morning glows

Bluish and pale

In the window

Rain so gentle

The birds sing over it.

My children sleep

With smooth cheeks

And soft breath

The sun rises

Like a prayer.

Step gently

In this old house

Speak softly

If you must

Or not at all.

Please don’t chase away

The dead

Who still roam freely

in my dreams.

How To Make a Bed

First, you must find the strength

to rise out of it.

This is not easy.

You have been alone before

But this time it is different.

The silence sounds different.

You know what awaits you in the house

And today you want

No part of it.

Your side is warm and molded to

The shape of your body

His side is still

Perfectly made and

cold to the touch.

Your dog is what finally

Gets you on your feet.

You shake the covers.

A few crumbs fall out.

Lemon cake while you read last night,

A guilty pleasure.

Then you see one hit the floor.

Small, triangular in shape

With a logo of some sort.

His guitar pick.

What you wanted – and didn’t want –

To find here.

Just a day like any other.

Him sitting on the side of the bed,

Singing and playing

In soft morning sunlight,

Santo & Johnny.

You’re laughing as you recognize the tune.

What’s it called, you ask him.

He grins in his sideways style.

Sleepwalk, he says, still strumming.

But staring at you.

You start to get up

To make the coffee

And he pulls you back.

And the bed is once again,

A floatation device,

A spaceship

A cloud

An oasis

An escape

Command central for the day.

The place you can

Think and

Rest and

Read and

Sing and


How can you make it, without him?


The knock at the door

Of your post-divorce

particle board


The woman, uncertain

Holding your fake leather wallet.

She thrusts it toward you.

“I found this” she stammers.

“In the middle of the highway”

You look at her but can’t form the words.

It is your wallet.

Everything you need to get by.

Left on top of the car while you were getting gas.

“It had emptied out” she says.

“I had to chase after a few of the cards and things.”

But she thinks it is all there.

You check, and it is.

All there.

The thought of this woman, this stranger

Dodging oncoming traffic

To recover your twenty-dollar wallet,

With the maxed credit cards

And food stamps and pennies,

Moves you.

Thank you is not enough.

Yet she shakes her head

When you offer reward.

“This is going to sound crazy” she says,

And it does.

“I am supposed to tell you

Everything will be OK”

She doesn’t know why she feels this urge.

She isn’t even sure

that there is a God.

And with that, suddenly

There is.

The universe has seen the

Carnage in your heart

And it knows grace

better than you.

It knows

That you will heal.


Amy Claire Massingale is a Pacific Northwest-based author and poet writing on love, loss and family.


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