Touch: The Journal of Healing


Editor’s Choice


Then the Stillness

    by Elizabeth Landrum

There you were, a mere

forgery of your former form,

asking my permission

to will yourself away

(as if I could decide).

Eyes locked; I nodded.

Then you shifted.

Nothing left to want

but peace, quiet, water,

and breathing’s final retreat.

Then the stillness.

I cover your shoulder,

smooth your thin white hair,

hoping to feel you

hovering, but


the vacancy comes in,

skims across my skin,

sits down

in our silent room,


The window is open,

curtains billowing outward.

My lips are hushed and dry;

I cannot stay.

© 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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