Touch: The Journal of Healing


Editor’s Choice



    by Elizabeth Landrum

It’s not how I thought it would be,

these slow slips

toward an unseen edge,

intellect unraveling

into phrases plain,



A cliff crumbles in patterns.

Fibers fray; sinews soften;

caves cut in a body

grown too small

for its skin.

There is


to repair.

Hearing corrodes. Still, his mind questions

with an innocence rooted in wisdom,

and my simple answers find him

often pliable as soft clay,

yet sometimes

persistent as stone.

His hand trembles

in the static air

between us,

a hologram

I can’t hold.

There is someone here I remember.

Is it myself, or my father,

I’m driven to know?

Too soon too late.

Here and not here.

I trust in the stories

to carry us.

On the verge of giving way,

we salvage what we can.

We muster the courage

to enter what is not easy,

to mine each moment

for the ore that holds

an antidote for


© 2013  Elizabeth Landrum

Elizabeth Landrum, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist from Lousiville, KY, who recently retired to the San Juan Islands where she shares a new home with her wife and two dogs.  She is at last finding time to write and to reflect on the work she did for 30 years, counseling people living with losses, cancer, and other life-changing illnesses.  Her own life has been touched and altered by the cancers and deaths she has experienced in her immediate family and by the incredible resilience she has witnessed in clients she supported through their journeys of grief and illness.

Copyright © 2012

Touch: The Journal of Healing

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