Susan Hayden

Chris

Photo of Chris Allport

 

Souvenirs and Evidence

The Search and Rescue crew handed me the bag

like a forgotten sandwich. I held it for days;

a Zip-Loc of belongings: his taxi wallet, damp

from melted snow with twelve, crisp hundred dollar bills,

weekend cash to pay for my 45th birthday.

His red bandanna covered in rocks and ice,

smelling of sweat and torn mountain skin.

Our son’s fifth grade picture in his wallet:

Hazel eyes, pirate t-shirt, gypsy hair;

face staring back at me with that “I am safe” look.

And then the goggles, still foggy,

still defrosting from a long night and buried.

I held the bag for days; it was the last of him.

Later, when people came to pay their respects,

to tell me how “He was in a better place,”

“He died doing what he loved”

only the ache remained,

like heart surgery without anesthesia.

I would share the bag and its contents

with anyone who was interested.

A friend put her arm around me and said:

“You don’t have to worry anymore. All the things

you were afraid of have already happened to you.”

Susan Hayden, c. 2016

3 poems by Mike Meraz

M MerazYour soul
Slowly
Undresses
As
Ink
Moves
Onto
Paper.

____________________

Took a
Break
From
Living on
The
Edge

But now
I miss
The
View.

______________________

Artists are
Essentially
Magicians
Turning
So much
Bullshit
That comes
Their way
Into
Beauty.

_______________________

Poems & Self Portrait by