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Ariel Skye's picture

Tomorrow would have been my friend Isaiah’s twentieth birthday. On the day he passed away, it snowed this same way. The snow fell on the trees in a hushed yet persistent way, small flakes sneakily adding up until my boots were drowning in white flurries. I felt very aware of my own body this morning. My feet felt heavy; grounded but not in the most reassuring of ways. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t see the ground beneath me. I felt the stuffiness in my nose, the coldness held at the tips of my fingers, and the tightness in my throat. Closing my eyes, I went back to that December day over a year ago.

I remember looking out the window of my dorm room, and the snow really was falling in the same way. It looked blurred through my watery eyes. I hated that snow. It was beautiful but fake, soft but so heavy. Some of my friends found this snowfall reassuring, even his twin sister, my oldest friend, imagined those flakes as a farewell kiss.

I want to share this poem that a friend of his wrote, entitled Isaiah.

For some reason, I was

under the impression that

beautiful souls never die. (I think you

were the one who put that though

in my head.) You poured your

light into all the spaces around you

even though you couldn’t always

feel it for yourself and I think

you searched for that in other things

while we found it within you.


It snowed when the surgeons finally

let you slip and I don’t think that

could have been a coincidence.

You must have wanted to kiss

everyone you loved

one last time.


Today I couldn’t be present on these four stepping stones. But I guess sometimes nature can take you back into your memories, kind of like a song that comes on the radio.



Anne Dalke's picture


Thank you for sharing this poem and story.

I'm noticing a theme in your descriptions of your site sits: each week, being at the duck pond calls up memories for you. In your earlier postings, you mentioned that "in nature you find your mind wandering." Last week, you thought that  "the snow just mutes emotions" (though clearly that was not the case this time around....). You also had speculated earlier that when we are "in nature," we often find ourselves "grappling with our own mortality"-- true this week, for sure...