Shaking Hands

Patti with her dog Emmy Lou

In my previous blog, “The Hands of a Poet, the Hand of a Poet,” I issued my readers a challenge:  Write a 50-word piece in any genre—flash fiction, poetry (haiku, tanka, etc. welcome), memoir—that tells the story of the photograph.

The most moving response came from my sister-in-law, Patti Bourne, who lives in Lyons, NY. She sent the photo above with this:

“I did something a little different…used a different photo but the theme of hand is there!

“The shaking of the hand holding the phone
taking the last picture of my black-haired love
as I spread out next to her
lying on the floor on her favorite spot
next to the hearth of the now cold stove.
I reach for her with my hand today and
she is not there.
Longing to hug her warm body and have one final
feel of her soft black hair.”

Patti also sent a second response to the challenge—one that played of the posted photo:

“Okay…for the real photo assigned:

“You do not see
all that I have lost here,
the emptiness of my heart,
I cannot reach the pillow
where your head used to lay.”

Thank you, Patti-sis, for taking the time to let the muses do their thing—inspire you to write as a means to express your grief over the death of Emmy Lou, that sweet, sweet dog. And, whilst tapping into your grief, remember mine. It’s now going on five years since my Roger passed away. If there’s a heaven, he is with Emmy Lou, his hand scratching her ears and rubbing her belly. Can’t you just see it?

6 thoughts on “Shaking Hands

  1. Patti’s lines were truly moving. Dogs have been important in my life, too. Recently my daughter had to put down an ailing dog . . . tears flowed copiously.


    1. Thank you, Michael, as always for reading…or for expressing your thoughts. Sorry your baby had to cross the rainbow bridge. I’ve been there too. And I believe losing our pets is part of how we learn about grieving so that when a loved one–human–passes we’re a little more prepared for what to expect. IMHO. Take care…and enjoy spring. Fondly, Karla


  2. Wow! Thank you, my sweet Sis for the opportunity to grace your blog. I am sincerely humbled by everyone’s comments. I do think of Roger- that wonderful , eloquent mind who taught me we are just wired that way! Watching that wiring fray is one of the most difficult passages your life can travel. Know that he is always in my “hard wired” consciousness = the memory of seeing him gaze at you the very first time I met him is one of my favorite memories. Now, thanks to you, I can feel his welcoming of EmmyLou…wherever the most wonderful souls gather! xoxo


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