Begin with the word and

Jan Haag taught journalism, English and creative writing at Sacramento City College for more than three decades before her 2021 retirement. A former magazine editor, she is the author of Companion Spirit, a collection of poems about her husband’s death published by Amherst Writers & Artists Press. She leads in-person writing groups in Sacramento, as well as virtual ones, in which the topic of grief and loss often arises. Read more of her beautiful writing here.

…we will begin our story
with the word and
                —Lisel Mueller from “Why We Tell Stories”

And so it goes,
as we’ve learned,
not a way of facing life
but of facing death—

grief tagging after
us like a shadow—

for there’s always
another sorrow,
another hope,
another and

even, we imagine,
at the end,
which may not be
the end
but a continuation

the great mystery
that we cannot know
and we long to

hoping that if we
can catch a glimpse
from here

there will not seem
so frightening

and we will move
with joy into
another story
another and
and and
and and

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