Dear Diary: 3-18
You’re brilliant teal-
The color of the sea, right where it touches the sky.
A leather band wraps tight around you,
To hold your thoughts in, Mom said.
I’ve never written in a diary before.
But Mom thinks I should, she wants me to keep my feelings to myself.
Like she does.
We all grieve differently.
Dear Diary: 3-19
You should expect these entries to be short.
I can’t fill the space with writing-
It’s not my thing.
As if anyone has one thing
That defines them.
I went into the music room today.
Anything to escape
The crowded lunch room, screaming kids packed together
It was silent in there-
Sound swallowed up by the red plush carpet.
They have a baby grand-
A gift from last year’s graduating class.
Creamy white keys, alternating with black.
Already, one has a chip in the corner.
I put my finger on it-
(Unblemished with the paint I just realized is no longer covering my nails)
And played a single note.
In the empty room, diary, it echoed.
Dear Diary: 3-20
I still haven’t painted my nails.
I used to- coating them in different colors every day.
I’d do designs for her, too, even though she only ever wanted plain pink.
I was going to paint them, after the ordeal that is school.
As I was going home, I walked by the
I forgot I don’t have to pick her up anymore.
I don’t think I’ll ever remember.
How could I?
Dear Diary: 3-21
We all grieve differently.
My dad retreats into himself,
I don’t think he’s spoken since-
My mom gets angry.
It’s the second stage of grieving.
I don’t think she’ll ever reach third.
I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.
I went to the music room again today.
Ms. Steph was there- although I didn’t see her.
I heard her, singing, like her whole heart
Was on fire.
I stood in the doorway, frozen, hidden-
And darted away before she saw me.
What would it be like-
To open my soul up in that crystal way?
Dear Diary: 3-22
The crash of the river haunts my dreams.
Her pale, white face
Waves buffeting against her limp body-
I can’t- I can’t- I can't-
Her second-grade class
In silent, black cloaked rows,
At her funeral.
Parents wearing solemn faces
Underneath, just glad it wasn’t their child.
Her face in the coffin was caked in makeup
To hide the bloating from
The rushing river water.
She’s in my dreams. I stand by the riverbed.
She cries, help!
I don’t move, I can’t, I’m frozen.
Dear Diary: 3-23
I’m sorry about yesterday’s entry, diary.
I got out of control.
It’s my fault.
At least I kept it bottled up, in the world that is your creamy pages.
My mom should be happy
She doesn’t want to hear anyone else grieve
Not amidst the fog of her sorrow.
Speaking (writing?) of Mom-
I asked about joining choir.
Be proud of me, diary, though no one else is.
I want to learn how to sing the way Ms. Steph did.
Open and free.
They said no, though.
How dare you think about frivolous things, in a house of grieving?
But… aren’t I still alive?
Dear Diary: 3-24
Ms. Steph asked me, again, about joining choir.
I really think your voice could be beautiful,
If you’d let anyone hear it.
I said, no, though.
Thanks, but not this year.
I can’t abandon Mom and Dad.
I can’t betray her by moving on.
Don’t tell Mom, diary, but even after I turned down choir-
I slipped into the music room.
I let the words pour out of me, a nonsensical, rich, glorious rush of words.
I can’t express myself clearly in writing,
But… it gave me something I can’t reach otherwise.
I was me.
Dear Diary: 3-25
Your pages are lined,
Paving out where I can write
What I can do
What I can say-
Mom hates me… all for daring to suggest
That this mausoleum we live in
Could someday let fresh air and bird song in.
But that would disturb the dust.
We live to preserve the dust.
Is that what she would have wanted?
She was so full of life- she loved dragons. Once, she made up a language-
Each English word corresponding
To a made-up dragon name.
She always had chocolate, smudged on her face.
She was alive.
I visited the cemetery today.
I didn’t tell Mom.
If I had told Dad, he wouldn’t have heard me, or cared.
That’s where I’m writing this, actually.
From a bench
Under a tree
Next to her grave.
She’s decomposing, under the stone that marks her name.
Another family is gathered around-
An arced grave a few rows away.
I could speak to them.
Or I could let them mourn in peace.
The rock marking her short life is mossy, though she’s only been here
What? Two paltry months?
Lily. Where are you? Is it better there? Are you happy?
Do you miss me?
She doesn’t respond. I want to ask-
Can I live? Not just exist… but live life?
I stand up to go. I can’t be here any longer.
Just as I’m leaving…
A robin lands on her grave-
It cocks its head-
And trills, a song of love and life and freedom.
Dear Diary: 3-26
After that.. I don’t know what to call it..
Experience with the robin-
I can’t get away from the words echoing in my head.
I don't believe in ghosts, or magic.
I don't know if Lily is- somewhere else.
But the thrumming in my chest and the beating of my heart-
When the robin landed.
They say something different.
A message only I understand.
Birds are free.
The only thing I can think of, now, are the words that keep echoing in my head.
Dear Diary: 4-1
I haven’t written for days.
I haven’t had to.
I’ve almost reached the end of your pages diary-
You’re slim, and my entries are long, if not wordy.
I did tell you I wasn't a writer.
It’s a new month- the start of semi-official spring.
A time of beginnings.
I joined choir-
Lily, was it you who let me?
A few nights ago, I sat on the roof of our house-
I got the idea from, well, basically every teen movie. Ever.
To my surprise, the attempt worked- I didn’t fall-, and I was watching the stars, breathing in the air which is only so fresh at night-
And a bird swooped across
My line of sight
Blurring out the stars with song.
So I joined in.
I’m alive, Diary.
I’m real, and true, and grieving.
I will always be grieving.
Lily is part of me- and will always be.
But not all of me.
And so, dear diary, on that rooftop-
Breathing in the crisp air of nighttime-
I sang my heart out
With the birds and the stars.
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Haunting and beautiful.