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Sorority of Sorrow


"Rising" ©2009 Darcy Lee Saxton


I embrace her

And feel the shards of heart cut through her chest.

Her voice quakes as the earth beneath moves her

To a foreign place.


I was the founder of this maternal order.

Its president, board, and sole member

Alone for so long at a table built from fortitude

That I forgot.

Others would be forced to take a seat eventually.


The woman before me, our chapter’s latest pledge.

Her initiation ceremony guaranteed.

Her hazing was swift and unexpected.

Something as small as a blood clot

traveling through a weary vein

Can wipe out a carefully imagined future

Faster than a child cleans a whiteboard before recess.


With care, I hand her a small welcome packet of knowledge

Of carefully crafted advice

Wrapped in understanding of a pain that cannot be understood.

You see, there is no one way to walk this campus,

No correct code to wearing our insignia.

We each have to forge the map for ourselves,

And all I can offer my sister is a walking companion.

This one is a strong hiker that thrives on daunting hills.

At the end of this journey,

I know she will show me vistas I haven’t yet seen.


Our sorority of sorrow has grown much these past few years.

Unfortunately, there is no quota.

None of us will become Alumna.

There is no passing of the torch - only sharing of the light,

And an embrace.


©2023 Jennifer Deshaies


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