If They Stayed: A Letter to Her by Kristin Ryan

for Mom

I’ve been writing a poem
about my mother’s new
yellow kitchen and fresh
flowers from the garden.

The wind blows the chimes
but I still hear the ghosts of
his fists crushing face and
our pleas to let her live.

Hidden away are the photos
of old injuries and sirens
she kept to remind herself
she could survive anything.

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