Alive in the Layers


Image by Pixabay

She lives in the layers
as Kunitz advised,
each one telling their version
of her story,
between then and now
where the scavenger angels
sort through the debris
in search of hope and meaning,
between here and there
where altered outcomes
were thought to be
random diversions.

She lives in the layers
with the help of a clear conscience
and good friends,
where she embraces the whole.
Taken together, layer to layer,
each and every image
of whom she had been
is cherished in the evening light
where in the midst of good company
she can hear the sounds of celebration
for whom she has become.

Alan Harris is a hospice volunteer who helps patients write memoirs, letters, and poetry. Harris is the recipient of the 2014 John Clare Poetry Prize as well as the 2015 Tompkins Poetry Award from Wayne State University. Harris is a two-time Pushcart nominee and was selected as The Sparrow Hospice Volunteer of the Year in 2016 for his work with hospice patients who wanted to leave something of their literary selves behind.


Return to Table of Contents