Afterwards, we pulled off the main road
and held each other close. Like the time
I dropped my grandmother’s teacup
and tried to gather up the pieces,
hoping it could be fixed.
Like the teacup, we would have scars.
Like the teacup, we would carry life again.
Afterwards, we waited for the end of night.
When light would emerge from its hiding place
to drink the darkness to its dregs.
Announcing its arrival with
the slow unfurling of the sun.
Like the dawn, we would see a new day.
Like the dawn, we would contain unexpected shadows.
Afterwards, we found our way back home,
discovering it had become smaller,
too cramped for both us and our ghosts.
Each needing to find a place to store
our songs and our tears.
Like our home, we would be filled with memories.
Like our home, we would become sanctuaries.
Afterwards, we planted a garden
and buried our burdens beneath its furrows.
Wondering what fruit comes from bitter seeds
we tested our patience against the seasons
and our hope against the cold.
Like the garden, we would bear the winter.
Like the garden, we would wait upon the spring.
Afterwards, we would wonder when the healing began.
Afterwards, we would wonder if it would ever be complete.
Cover photo by Marisa Harris.