Real Love

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.

(in memory of Heide Juchnik)

That we are hardwired to love
and lose is what comes again and again—
the euphoria of spring springing
into sudden, bright leaves where
there were none days ago,
green harbingers that will age
through summer, grow brittle
by fall.

It is the way of things:

That decline into the time when
passage to the next place is possible,
mourning what was, learning
to let go.

That love emerges in the form
of unexpected beings who appear,
lend a hand, a heart, a word,
companion spirits, seen and unseen,
who arrive with armfuls of compassion,

kindness falling like soft rain
after a long dry spell, moistening
hard ground, coaxing out of hiding
green stalks topped with dancers
in fluted yellow skirts to courtesy
in the breeze.

There is no such a thing as end.

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