Published by KotaPress
ISBN 1-929359-13-6
Out of stock


Scott, I didn't get to say goodbye
by Mary Harrison


"UNFORESEEN is a book of mourning. It is a portrait of a son. And it is a lamentation, a wailing, a striking of the hand against the breast in grief. Suicide gives no time to exchange good-byes and causes the bereaved to wail..."

--Allegra Wong,

Out of stock


I meet my son, Stuart, at the airport,
drive him through Springfield’s hot streets
to Gorman Sharpf Mortuary
to see his brother

Scott on a gurney!

There are holes in Scott’s head!
Red black blue!

Stuart stands near the gurney,
his face swallowed in tears. He doesn’t
have words.

I bend and smooth Scott’s thick black
hair. I stroke his arms until my hands
grow stony.

"Ohhh, ohhh!" I say.

In this cold room his chest is bare, his
blood vessels have exploded.

Back home, Stuart and I sit facing
each other across the narrow room,
stunned like the blue jay
that flew into the sunroom window

while outside an unrelenting sun
bakes the grass and curls the leaves
of the Honey Locust.

Captured by sorrow and the heat,
we cannot speak.
Emptiness pours into us.

The distant
"cah, cah" of a crow overhead seems stuck
outside space and time.

I can’t imagine the world without my son--

his new apartment on Donovan where his
philodendron still grow,
his desk where he sat only days ago
when we talked on the phone,
his smile, his soft voice, his warmth,

his leather boots which no longer
hug his feet, the road
he traveled from birth to the gurney,

his own precious life.

The stillness of the room
broken only by the sounds of our


Author Bio
Mary Harrison lives in Springfield, Missouri with her husband and two miniature poodles. Some of her work has been published in "Kota Press Poetry Journal," "Kansas Quarterly," "Midwest Poetry Review," "Mediphors," "Poetry Motel" and other journals. She is a retired nurse/psychotherapist who spends her time writing poetry and prose.

Loss  | Vashon | Services | Art | Poetry | Store | Contact

© 1999 KotaPress All rights reserved.  ISSN 1534-1410
Please direct comments regarding this web site to