By Elizabeth J. Phillips

Your night is over.
I stand here
by your peaceful bedside
I braid your hair
thick as always, now,
as many days before,
for many reasons,
I hold your hair
in my hands

I am braiding as
I stand remember
your voice calling
my name

I braid, remembering
your beauty
at homecoming,
your daily grace,
your childhood

As I braid,
hand over hand,
I remember your smile
wide as your arms
ambushing me with
your laughter, always,
always your laughter

You have been
a priviledge
to love

Now, I pray that
I have loved you well

Many dark days
have passed,
many bright days
begin again,
for you, my Beautiful,
today your death has come,
and today has begun
your goodmorning.

Author's Note: I am particularly moved by the focus of your site on grief and healing for those who have lost children. These poems were born from great sorrow at the loss of my twin youth group students, Kim & Kathy S. They were seventeen. I held their hands as they died this summer from injuries sustained in a tragic car accident. I braided their hair after they were gone and wept with their heartbroken parents. I will be forever impacted by their lives and their loss.

Editor's Reply: My very heart to Kim & Kathy's family and my many thanks to you, Elizabeth, for sharing these works with us at KotaPress.



Elizabeth J. Phillips lives, writes, and works with youth in the Southern Ohio. She has three chapbooks; the third, "Growing Peace," was awarded first place in the Geneva College Art Show for mixed media. She is currently working on her fourth work, "Book of Our Beginnings" from which these two poems are taken. She is also the editor for the Lanacaster Vineyard Arts Magazine.


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