by Jai K Miller
I only ever remember placing flowers on an old headstone once in my life with my mother. She always told me she wanted to be buried under a stone so people would have a place to come visit her. I told her people don’t stop by not to see the dead anymore. Mausoleums are not tourist spots these days and ages, and graves are not haunted attractions. I told her I’d rather be burned alive than to be stuck in a box trying to get out if it just so happened I was never actually dead. Ironically enough, her final resting place now belongs to all of us who were left to live.
by Jai K Miller
I sift through the boxes of your life left behind. Years bubble-wrapped, and stored, in the corner of a basement unfamiliar to me, miles away from the only place that ever felt like home. You saved more Christmas decorations than photographs, and a curio cabinet full of angels. My school projects and every card I ever made you have laid unseen for decades, until now. Things I had forgotten, like all the songs and poems I wrote for you when I was a little girl, kept safely tucked away for only my possession now. Yearbooks, letters, baby toys, crystal, treasures, from a time before I was even a thought in your head packed away like all the questions I never got to ask, the stories you never told, the ones I never got to hear, and now never will. There was so much more to you than I ever got to know, and now I’m running out of boxes to go through. I keep digging just to feel close to you but I’m almost to the end, and you are still not here. You are packed away somewhere in a box, lost, one I cannot find, gone forever.
Jai K Miller is an author, poet and traveler who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a lifetime creative whose work has appeared in Pennsylvania English, Penman Review, Where the Mind Dwells, Literary Yard, Georgia’s Best Emerging Poets 2017, The Evening Street Press, America’s Emerging Poets 2018: Southeast Region, Route 7, Birmingham Arts Journal, Backchannels Journal, Hive Avenue Literary Journal, and was also accepted for publication in the Sandy River Review. Her first poetry collection Just a Fly on the Wall Inside My Mind was released in January of 2019, and her second collection Hardly a Poet was recently released in May of 2020. When she’s not writing, she is out hunting waterfalls. It’s an actual sport, not a metaphor.