#poetryreading “Like Catching Falling Leaves,” by Chris Hall

Shirley, Liz, and Donna* , Enosburg Falls, Vermont, c. 1972 (*Not her real name.)

The Prompt

I’m not much of one for writing prompts, but I do enjoy reading what they inspire from other writers. Such is the case with the prompt photo below that inspired Chris Hall to write “Catching Falling Leaves.”

The combination of the poem and the prompt photograph immediately brought to mind this photo of me with my two closest friends from high school. I knew I just had to read the poem aloud. (You can read the poem on Chris’s blog, luna’s on line.)

Music Credit: Migfus20

Prompt Photo

The Rest of the Story

As often happens when people move from their home town, it wasn’t long before I lost touch with Shirley and Donna. I recently learned from a friend who still lives in Enosburg that Donna died in 2014–which also brought to mind that photograph. I couldn’t fathom how someone who had been such a big part of my life growing up could have died, and I didn’t know it. The worst of it was that this whole conversation about her death took place via text message. It just seemed wrong.

When I was in graduate school, I wrote a short story about Donna, which was subsequently published in Slow Trains. The story does not end on a happy note. I can only hope that my reading of Chris’s beautiful poem will serve as a more fitting good-bye. Rest in peace, my friend.

157 thoughts on “#poetryreading “Like Catching Falling Leaves,” by Chris Hall

  1. Liz, a touching reading of Chris’s story which catches all its depth and as others have said a beautiful reflection on you all, on friendships, lives everywhere.

    It must have been a shock to learn about Donna and as you say, it can somehow feel wrong that this is through the fleeting medium of texts – yet this seems to be the way of the world. We often lose touch with friends from our youth. Do you have any news about Shirley?

    I look forward to savouring your story later today in a break. Take care xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much for your thoughtful and insightful comments, Annika. As far as I know, Shirley is doing well. The last time I saw her was at my mother-in-law’s funeral, which had to have been at least ten years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The poem is wonderful, makes me think of times past and your voice with these words “Savouring remembrances like catching falling leaves, precious memorials to time now past.” Takes me back to those times. Add to this your touching story… and the sadness when such great friends from our youth pass on, especially when we lose touch and when we receive the message it seems so sterile versus the light they were in our lives. Powerful message.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Condolences. It is strange that, we are somehow more estranged, in a digitally connected world. I can relate to parting ways from people who were such a quintessential part of your life. Thank you for sharing this poignant tale.

    Liked by 2 people

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