Publication: “In the Days Before Spring”

I am pleased to report that my poem “In the Days Before Spring” has been published in the Spring 2019 issue of Pinyon. This is a print publication, so I’ve created a video for the poem.

“In the Days Before Spring” is actually the precursor to my short story, “The Story of Henry: Chapter and Verse,” which was published in the July 2017 issue of the Adelaide Literary Review. The poem was prompted by the suicide of a dear friend of my father’s in March of 1972, when I was sixteen. It was the first time I had ever seen my father really hurting–hurting in a way that someone barely out of childhood could not fully comprehend. Every year after that, the smell of mud season in the air would plunge me into sadness.

Finally, years later, I wrote “In the Days Before Spring.” The poem wasn’t enough, however, and I had to write “The Story of Henry.” In 2017, when I found the obituary of my father’s friend on in 2017, I discovered that I had the facts of the funeral completely wrong. But my memory of the emotional truth of that event remains unchanged.

66 thoughts on “Publication: “In the Days Before Spring”

  1. Very moving poem…the wet earth and the tragic loss we feel when we lose our beloveds. Winter moves into spring which will call forth new life and new beginnings; however, we never forget our dear ones who have moved on to ‘higher ground’. The things that trigger remembrances for us are very powerful. In this case, the scent of the soggy earth distilling the heartache of a former hour, and the knowledge that we suffer each loss again and again.

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  2. Liz, what a poignant and intriguing story of grace and sadness all wrapped up together. Without having to describe the emotions of each man at any length, you manage to elicit them for us, your readers, anyway. Congratulations on your poem’s publication – I read it after the story, and it is even more powerful when knowing what lies behind it. Spare and deep, it touches the heart. So glad I found you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Martha! They really mean a lot. While the poem came easily, the story took years of revisions, the years being needed for me to gain the life experience to tell the story the way it needed to be told.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure, Liz. On a side note, after reading the newspaper article, I was pleased to read that the church and members were Episcopalian. When we moved to Massachusetts in ‘84 the most difficult thing was finding an Episcopal church. Interestingly, Groton School in town is Episcopalian (magnificent chapel) but they aren’t open for town folks to worship.

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        1. My dad was an Episcopal parish priest from the late 1950s through the mid-1980s, when he transitioned to hospital chaplaincy. The small Episcopal parishes are definitely struggling, with many needing to close their doors.

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  3. Liz, the combination of artistry and craftsmanship in your work leaves me shaking my head in wonder. You connect with readers—including this one—on many levels. Thank you for gracing us with your words and images.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved the video, if you’re from New England, you’ve been to that place. It caused me to remember a delayed funeral in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine in 1953, give or take a year or two. She was a great grandmother and you stirred up the taste of the tea she would make. We actually had the burial in Shirley Mills. Good times past remembered. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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