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Technicolor Sunsets

August 25, 2021 by Tara Woodard-Lehman
Tara took this photo from her parents’ kitchen window on the day her mother died.


They say we exit this world 
the way we enter it. 
Alone. 

This wasn’t true for my mother. 

She burst onto the scene 
one of two, a pair identical 
but not the same. 
She did not enter alone. 

Her exit, though, 
was different. 

She left without her spouse or son. 
She left without her daughters, either one. 

She left without dear friends, siblings, 
without even her twin. 

She left heaps of rusty, mothy things
artifacts that wouldn’t make the final trip.

It was a long surrender,
a holy detachment.

It was releasing things
that didn’t matter
To treasure things
that did.

Like the feel of lake water, cold on our toes.
Like the taste of ripe berries, freshly plucked.
Like the smell of banana bread, still baking.
Like the sound of birds, clamoring for seeds.

Like technicolor sunsets,
viewed best from the kitchen sink.


Copyright © 2020 by Tara Woodard-Lehman. All rights reserved. Used by permission. 

Tara Woodard-Lehman is the daughter of Jan Woodard, author of Texting Through Cancer: Ordinary Moments of Community, Love, and Healing. Tara is a writer, mother, salvage artist, and ordained Presbyterian USA minister. She is a contributor to the anthology Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith and has written several blogs for the Huffington Post. Tara and her family recently moved back to the States from a three-year stay in New Zealand.


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