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Jan Haag teaches journalism and creative writing at Sacramento City College where she is the chair of the journalism department and advises student publications. She is the author of Companion Spirit, a collection of poems about her husband’s death at the age of 48, published by Amherst Writers & Artists Press. She leads writing groups in Sacramento where the topic of grief and loss often arises. Read more of her beautiful writing here.

(after Mark Strand)

even this late
even this late, it comes —
the knowing, the unbearable
laid true for five years:
you are gone.

even this late
with you reduced to mere ash
boxed in the hall closet,
some days I walk in the door
and your smell hugs me,
holds on.

for a moment,
a heartbeat,
your bones made whole again,
your dust spirals and tornados
into manform sitting in
the Stickley armchair
I bought last year,
hoping that

even this late
even this late
you might find your way home.

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