Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.


May 16, 2009

We’ve had a lovely and extended birthday celebration in our family, capped today by a fun party with Ella’s friends, and featuring a very special guest: a multi-layered tres leches cake, which evoked audible gasps and groans from those who tasted it.

And yet, joyous as they are, such celebrations are always tinged with a kind of sadness for me as my thoughts inevitably turn to our Will. Our son’s funeral home is right down the street from his twin sister’s birthday party (literally and figuratively). The following poem came out of that struggling space.

in the center of my chest
is a particle
an irritant
like a piece of sand,
only bigger

it rises up
when I’m sad
when I’m lonely
at birthdays
when I pray

it’s never going to go away
I know that now
it’ll always be there
choking my throat
catching my breath
constraining my heart

but somehow,
like an oyster
I will slowly encase it
in layers of milky coating
to make it smoother
more beautiful

and when my flesh
is put to flame
and the man
sweeps up my old bones
that tiny pearl
will roll into the dust bin
he’ll squint,
the crease of his eye
turned up into a slight smile
wondering where it came from

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7 Responses to “treasure”

  1. Mike Croghan says:

    Jerk. Made me cry.

    That’s beautiful, Mike.

  2. amy k ross says:


    this poem just inspired an art piece.
    and some tears.

    god i miss you guys.

  3. Greta says:

    Phenomenal. I love it. As always, thank you for sharing.

  4. Heather S. says:

    Great poem. Tears in my eyes, hoping my pain becomes pearl-like as well.

  5. Todd says:

    thanks for sharing this Mike.

  6. Jackie says:

    Gorgeous, Mike. Gorgeous. I love it.

  7. jason says:

    beautiful, thanks mike.

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