Poetry On Odyssey: Autumn Leaves And Wishing Wells

Poetry On Odyssey: Autumn Leaves And Wishing Wells

"I miss autumn leaves falling from the trees just because I miss the time I knew you best."

I miss autumn leaves falling from the trees just because I miss the time I knew you best.

We used to sit against that old brick wishing well that was planted in your picket-fenced backyard, the wind biting our cheeks and liberating the colors from their branches.

We listened as they landed with a soft crunch. You smoked a cigarette you claimed as your last, but never was. The smoke reminded me of you: elusive, intangible. Impermanent.

I harbored a great affection for that wishing well, the way it felt against my back…rough maybe, but solid, strong. Everlasting.

I’ve already established that if you were a metaphor, you would be smoke. Not the well.

In the winter, the water in the well froze into a clean sheet of ice.

You’d kneel behind the well before pelting me with a snowball. Then you’d pull me into your chest by the baby blue scarf we found at Goodwill before I could retaliate and press a kiss to my forehead; a kiss as powdery and light as your apologies.

In the spring, when grays and dirty whites melted into greens and pastels, the fabric of our relationship started to tear. You wanted to move to the city – hear the sounds of hysteria: cars honking, people yelling, things happening.

I couldn’t comprehend it.

In the summer, when you said you’d stay for me, I knew you had to leave. I flipped a coin into the well, its plop into the depths final, its ripples sealing it in, and I smiled at you and wished that your own unique chord melded into the orchestra of chaos the way you wanted it too.

You held me again. One last time. I didn’t drive you to the airport.

The next autumn was different. I imagined you lost among skyscrapers, barely avoiding the smack of taxi cabs, running into an office building, clutching coffee cups that weren’t for you with white-knuckles.

You would like that pandemonium.

Meanwhile, I decided that maybe I shouldn’t depend on wells to grant my wishes.

I drifted down country lanes, watching the leaves blow by as they barely nicked the Earth’s surface, listening to the satisfying way they crackled under my feet, exploring new paths to share with someone who wasn’t made of smoke.

Cover Image Credit: publicdomainpictures.net

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To the guy that shot my brother...


To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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