Touch: The Journal of Healing



Sorry Business*

    by Jackie Fox

    “The truth comes out of this hairbrush.” – Dula Nurruwuthun.

If I could, I’d create a pole so high

it would pierce the sky, and still

would not be as tall

as you walked in this life.

I would summon truth

from my brush made of hair

to tell of your life’s essence;

the white of your pure intellect,

the green of your calming garden,

the red of your fierce heart.

It would whisper

the rose-gold of a Perth sunrise,

sigh the blue of deep absence

and my tribute would shimmer like tears

to keep your spirit company

until the weary wood lies down,

the colors fade like daylight

to velvet night,

and I am left with

this sorriest of business.

    -for Rachel Cheetham Moro, 1971-2012

* On the islands north of Australia, the mourning period is known as sorry business. Some funerals include carved personal totems with designs applied by brushes made of human hair. ~ from an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum

© 2012 Jackie Fox

Jackie Fox is a breast cancer survivor and writer who lives in Nebraska with her husband Bruce.  She has been published in several literary journals and two of her poems are included in the forthcoming book, The Untidy  Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets, by the Backwaters Press.  She blogs at Dispatch From Second Base.

Ruth Schiffmann spent fourteen rewarding years homeschooling her two daughters. As they got older she found herself with more time to write. Caring for her parents throughout her mother’s struggle with depression and her father’s decline into dementia has inspired much of her work. More than two hundred of Ruth’s stories, articles, poems, and essays have appeared both online and in print.  Her blog can be found at

Copyright © 2012

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.

Familiar Waters © 2011  Ruth Schiffmann