There is this pain that runs so narrow and deep

That I understand how the canyons are etched out by a trickle…

Because that trickle

Has etched out this canyon

In me.


And there is this sorrow

That is not this season to be walked through

But a thing that lives at the core of me.

I love you.

Though I never had a chance.

I love you though I had a chance.


And I

I have so little of you.

How could I ever want to exorcise this…


I have no school pictures

No first words

No first steps.

No finger paintings.


We did not have our years together.

We did not have even those ten months

That it’s easy to think we’re promised.


We had only this knowledge that you were coming to be.

And we had the changes in your mothers body.

And we had these hopes and these prayers and then

You were



I feel like I should tell you

That I think of you all the time.

But I love you.

And I have to believe that you live in the truth now.

And you must know how it is with me.


There are days and weeks and perhaps a month sometimes,

When you do not cross

 the parts of my thoughts that I remember to think about

but you are with me

I am glad you are with me

I wish

I wish it had just been so different

How could I ever want to exorcise this?


I have so little of you

How could I want to shed myself of this

Mourning-sickness, sadness, sadness




This poem was submitted to Watercooler Wednesdays, Randy Elrod’s blog carnival.


Published by


The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

4 thoughts on “Miss”

  1. Thanks, everybody.
    I appreciate the kind words and comments. Sometimes I hold up the whole “Don’t assume the poet and the speaker of the poem are the same person” mentality, but in the name of transparency and honesty I feel like I ought to say that yes, this poem is autobiographical… We miscarried several years ago. The reality of it hit me, recently, and that’s what I was writing about. There’s no good words to describe the feeling: bittersweet is much to wimpy of a word, and mourning is wrong, too, partially because it’s melodramatic but also because well… it’s just not the right word. This poem was my attempt at wrapping my brain around the feeling.


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