Dear Mom…


This March, you will have been gone for nine years.  Remember your granddaughter?  You held her in your fragile hands, she was only a few months old, and you only had a few months left.   A year after you were gone, I cleaned up you art studio, I kept expecting you to walk in and yell at me for messing up your stuff.  I gave  your yarn to Robin, she is an awesome mother-in-law to my little sister, just like how you were to Jackie.  I quit wandering around lost with jobs.  I went back to college and finished, I have an awesome career now.  I make drinking water, just like dad does.  We talk shop all the time.  He misses you everyday, but he stays busy, and he loves all of your grandkids.   You have five now.  My son would make you laugh. We lost two pregnancies before he showed up.  We almost gave up, but I am glad we didn’t.   I am going to be 56 years old when he graduates high school.  I tell the joke that everyone will  think I am his grandpa.  “Hey your grandpa came to your graduation!”  Then he says, “That’s my dad.”  Maybe I won’t look old.  Silver hair is scouting my hair in single strands here and there.  My hair is still there, so I don’t care what color it decides to be.  I bought a new sports car.  It’s not a midlife crisis.  I have always loved fast cars.  Just like you did.  If you are gonna commute, then you get to drive what you love.  I don’t know if you know it or not, but you set me up very well.  You made me strong.  I hope you are proud of me.  I wish, God would let you call me, but I see you in my dreams sometimes.  You are young, and healthy.  Sometimes you just watch me play with the kids, quiet, with a warm smile, I would imagine you would be doing the same thing, if you were here.  Sometimes we talk about non-fantastical things.  When I wake up and can never remember what they were.  That old crazy standard poodle, Molly is still alive.  She is like a ghost hanging out in skin and bones.  I think she is worried about dad.  If she passes away, I think we get him a puppy.  I also think he is worried about retiring.  I am trying so hard to give him a chance to.   Jackie and I have been landlords for 5 years.  It is hard work sometimes, but we are good at it.  My kids have a great life, all those years of hard work you invested in your family is paying dividends.  I tell my kids about you, and how wonderful you were.  Sorry, but I tell Jackie all the time you were an amazing cook.  I miss your food.  I guess I always thought you would teach her all your secrets.  I had so many plans, and ideas, of you making cookies, and painting with grandkids.  Cancer stole you away from me.


I hope you are doing well, I love you.

I miss you.

I hope we will meet again someday.




Copyright © 2017 Zachary Gilbert

Lost Hugs

Don’t take this whole thing too personal,

but my emotions, are not quite, that versatile.

I have a 3 foot bubble, 3 meters may be better,

I don’t want, your breath, or the scratch of your sweater.


Hugs are powerful, I do believe that, to be true,

mother won’t hug me, so neither can you.

My kids run fast. They crash into an embrace.

In a ‘big ol daddy hug’, hurt and woe, soon displace.


I pick up the phone and dial mom’s number,

to tell tales, of life, and the stress I am under.

No answer.  I miss her voice, a hug for my heart.

A hug from a mother, gives hope a fresh start.


40 years, write lines upon my face,

I ache, and ache, for mothers warm embrace.

Decayed emotions, loose and dry under the yellow sun.

Truth seeps out. The black tales of my heart, now come.


My mother won’t hug me, in time, her story is lost,

Cold wind, blows over the river, while stones cover in moss.

A scratchy gray sweater, with a horse on it,  zipped under her breath.

Mother’s hugs, become empty shadows, soon after her death.


Copyright © 2017 Zachary W Gilbert

Life, whispers against deaths tide, Death remains successful


Of my body? No.

Of my soul? Perhaps.

Of my mind? Yes.

Grow new teeth, change my hair color with pure will,  or stitch a second heart?

I have tried, many many times, yet I remain unsuccessful.

My unseen soul swims, somewhere within my body?

Where?  Where?  I want to see it.

I can’t, so

I am silent.

To understand what is, light swimming in dirt?

I have tried, many many times, and I remain unsuccessful.

This body, a heavily glued, warm dust ball.

My wet blood pressurizes the the glazed soil, I carry.

For now.  I am a clay pot.  Where is the light?

It is dark.  I am dark.  I feel the light.  I want to see it!

When hundreds of years go by, and my dust is scattered,

What will survive the decay?  My soul perhaps?

Light crawls out of bodies when they die?

Who sees it?

Instead of widgets, could I make a factory producing,




I consider, for a moment, God.

What is sin?  Is it a tarred mass on my soul?

Is it a foul green mist, that corrodes my halo and harp?

Is my life a widget factory, perverted into an assembly line,

Of filth?

Of poison?

Of Unforgiveness?

I wonder, for some time, about Jesus.

Swirling dust, wraps around blood and breath,

that can clean my soul?

A scrub?

A dunk?

A wash?

I wish I could look through the dirty window, and see,

my soul hanging in the steam of the dishwasher.

Would it smell like lemons, when their guts spin in the garbage disposal?

The blood of God’s son, rolling thick, down the hidden drain,

of my soul.

Would smells of rotten meat, and forgotten milk, be erased?

How? I want to see it!

I am simple a sack of dust, yet my mind is obsessed with the unseen.

Am I soil, without soul?  Am I soil, held in a clay pot, tan and fragile.

Is my soul a seed?  Is it made of white light?

Lightning in a cloud?  Or a false dream, lost in soil?

If the Great Gardener, sends his son, to spill hot blood on the empty soil,

Will something grow, clean, and lighted,

beyond the soils last dusty breath?

The invisible souls harvested…

Warm orange blasts within morning light,

crawls over the horizon,

white light breaks through soil,

breaking fragile clay pots,

Clouds of lightning,

smell like lemons.

A souls successful cleaning.


Copyright © 2017 Zachary W Gilbert