Touch: The Journal of Healing


Issue 8

September 2011

Cover Photo © 2008 “Parc Asterix 20” by Arnaud 25 - under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

This issue explores the concept of being present in the moments we share with someone who is facing death.  In addition, the loss of any one person reaches far beyond blood lines.  It is also felt by friends, neighbors, and colleagues and as such, the definition of family and family lines can become blurred.  This is very evident in the people with whom the dying surrounded themselves in their final days.

The story of each of our contributors is a personal one and yet something that so often resonates in our own experience.  Sometimes we just need to know we are not alone ...

Pull up a chair and tell me

what you cannot tell yourself

Kaveri Patel

She plays the cello, slowly—and the night

becomes an aperture of grace.

Karen Kelsay

I pause to place coins on weary eyes

no longer witnessing horizons, and criss-

cross two arms at rest beneath one stone.

Kevin Heaton

If only I could glue the noxious thoughts staining

my memory into his and attach the fear I felt.

If only I could forgive …

Howard Rosenberg

I run my fingers over the letters

carved in South Dakota stone

and we’re together again.

Stacey Dye

I am a man like most others:

able to join mortise to tenon,

unable to wed emotions to words

Ed Bennett

I remember

how we laughed, giddy,

freed by your words,

how for the next three weeks

like leeches we sucked the story

of you from your memory

Nina Bennett

We have been nibbled at.

We are frayed around the edges.

Marjorie Robertson

Inside, a puzzle;

locked in stagnant words

my autistic child ripples

Eira Needham

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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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When I pass by, he strums

a love song about my hair,

tells me I am beautiful.

His words are not fit for a widow.

Tina Hacker

He laughed, something inside breaking

open like a tsunami, like an impossible

dream, and then he saw his mother

smile as tears slipped down her face like


Christine Klocek-Lim

We left him no nightgown

to cradle, no familiar cologne,

no hint she might only

have gone to work for the day.

Alarie Tennille