The Last Photo

Grief is a long process and one that I wholeheartedly believe can only be endured with the love of the people around us. In their embraces, encouragement, quiet company, God is present and working to heal us. And when we are ready, God can also show us how to see a way forward.

God bless.

“The Last Photo”

The moment snaps
like an old Kodak camera – click –
captured in the glare of a flash
on darkness. Your weakening breath and slack fingers
are imprinted in the silent cacophony of the end
I didn’t want.

I am holding old pictures in
a quiet house as disarray hangs
upon me, stealing direction.
Atop each photo of birthdays,
beach trips, and family vacations,
the last image of all perches
with black raven claws.

I am moving through albums,
and it takes me years to turn
pages. It takes the constant embrace
of love and perseverance to push
off the raven claws and teach
me how to hold my hands to
capture new moments.

I reach,
breathe out – click.
 
 
 
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The Last Photo by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Listen

Hello all,
 
Here is an end of the year poem inspired by the Longwood Gardens Christmas Lights event. They decorate the entire, huge garden with Christmas lights, and thousands of people come to see them. It reminds me of how creativity and beauty can bring us all together. I want to think of that as a new year comes.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Listen”
 
We came to see the lights together.
They dance light-footed on branches of winter trees.
They wrap and spiral and bind our eyes to their beauty.
 
Excitement grips us. Each couple, family, and lone walker
jostles, pushes, squeezes, shouts, laughs, cries, stops, and stares
in the tour in the dark.
It seems we are as many in this crowd
as there are lights in the garden.
We walk beside a thousand faces
but do not know their names.
They are the kind of family you know only for a brief, shared moment of wonder.
 
Now we walk the night road home.
We make no sound: awe is our shared language.
Listen:
 
 
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Listen by Morgan Prettyman Waad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Advent #2, Winter Whispers

Holidays do not always bring comfort and joy, especially when the past year has held a loss in the family. To those who feel that pain this year, I pray peace for you and that you will be surrounded in love.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Winter Whispers”
 
Winter blows in without sound.
Color has dropped into a brown carpet
on the wet roads as we gather, one less,
around meals and traditions and decorations.
Your voice was so much a part
of them that without it I’ve been tossed
into a black and white film where I
read the script on a title card. Tell me
what to say now that I am the voice
to fill mealtimes and give directions.
 
Snowfall buries the world with gray and quiet.
Staring out dark windows I take the time to
remember. Faint but true, you speak into
the moments I feared would stay empty and
raw. Snowfall brushes glass with white,
catches Christmas tree lights, whirls into prisms.
Perhaps in echoes and memory God
brings us closer to the great beyond
you crossed ahead of me.
 
 
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Winter Whispers by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Quest

Since my parents moved across the country, I have been coming to new understandings of what home is to me. God has come with me in this journey, carrying me through with His love, and in doing so, showing me to my answers. In your quests for home, may He do the same.

God bless,
Morgan
(If you are interested in other reflections on how God has worked in my life during the journey of my family’s move last year, see my 15-poem collection starting here: Wings Will Come: Journey)

“Quest”

home is a question mark
I am chasing with new wings,
seeking to know what it cradles
within its comfort and what hand I have in
shaping it. peace is its quiet sister
in flight beside it, elusive as a gray moth
in morning mist, alighting with a secret
but fading into motion again before I
can scoop it into my palm. a current moves
beneath all of us in the journey, and I know
it is the answer to the question mark and
the resting place for the moth. For me,
it is the push and pull from one understanding
into the next, the beat of my wings
in flight.

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Quest by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Love

A poem of reflection and hope for God at work in my life.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Love”
 
In the past, I found it in a circle of arms
of a changing family,
in clasped hands
of frightened sisters,
in silent standing
with the grieving,
in lung-bursting laughter
with the joyful,
in whispered prayer
in the hurricane hours.
 
Now, I keep finding it
in unbreakable words and
unshakable truths,
when I open my eyes to
storms or sunrises,
in the firm, steady presence
of soul-bound friends and kin.
 
Tomorrow, I will find it
in my days, years, breaths, and tears,
in sky and in flight.
 
 
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Love by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 15 “Wings Will Come”

The last poem of my collection about my family’s move to Arizona ends with a poem I have shared before. In my family’s journey is sadness and joy, challenges and blessings. God has been with us through all these things and will continue to transform us as we go forward.
 
This is the end of the 15-poem collection called Wings Will Come: Journey. Thanks for reading along and sharing these moments with me.
 
I am now going to move to posting new poems every 2 weeks. Look for the next one a couple weeks from now!
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Wings Will Come”
Reflection
 
it is invasive and clings
    around me, a constant reminder.
trapped: changing and no way
      to chew free of bindings 
            I spun myself with wishes and choices
         that I never knew could lead here.
but in the gauzy darkness i
know the wings
    will come.
 
you have been hoping for your own day
         in the open 
     for even longer than I have.
I cannot see you anymore,
     but somewhere in your own cocoon
  you are growing colors like 
      Arizona sunsets
that are outlined with your bold resolve
     like an inked sketch of
     your future.
 
let’s meet in the air,
you and I.

 
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wings will come by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 12 “Family Photos”

My PopPop was the next person to move with my parents to Arizona. My dad flew back from the new house to fly him out to the west. For a little while, we were all back together again. We took that time to crowd together in a family photo in our house of boxes and change, remembering what had been and looking ahead together to what will be. God blesses us with moments of memory, and He strengthens us to keep walking into a new present with new possibilities.
 
To catch up for the past few weeks, I will be posting several poems of the collection in short succession. Look for the thirteenth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Family photos”
To all my family
 
the five of us cram together to
fit in the camera lens
one last time before the house
is different and father and grandfather
spread wings to the West.
 
after the flash, we peer at
the tiny digital screen
to make sure we’re all there.
 
what fills the family photo frame
will change.
even as the takeoff still roars
in my ears I see different faces
crowd around me, put hands
on my shoulder, and smile.
some are new and some
are as well known
to me as my innermost bones.
 
I display the new photos and the old
side-by-side in my heart.
Under this sun, they each take
their place and their time:
equal jewels to hold.
 
 
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Family Photos by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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