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.
Tell me the world.
—Rebecca Lehman, from “Natural History”
Tell me the story of how you came to be.
Tell me from the perspective of stars
arcing around the planet not in the hour
of your birth but in the luminous moments
of your making, of your emergence
into personhood, whole and alive,
as you came to embrace the known,
as you came to understand that
the unknown, too, was a part of you,
that your calling has long been to chart
the dark places between pinpoints of light
always rotating overhead, observers
from a great distance.
Please understand: I am here to listen.
Tell me all this as a path appears,
winding through magenta trees and aqua green
grass, the colors of your favorite crayons.
Wave to me as you begin to walk,
the nearest great star beaming at you,
warming your way.