We lose what’s familiar, known, loved, dear,
just as autumn’s exuberance segues to something diminished.
Words are spoken, candles are lit, food is eaten
to remind ourselves we are alive and unalone,
even if we feel a little lost ourselves.
Nothing is rendered so sweet as by its absence,
nor as precious as by bitterness in potent combination.
Shiva’s seven, Hidaad’s three, Dasai’s ten-
airlocks between spaces-
pass, softly, to yahrzeit, jìchén, shraadh, meinichi.
El dia de los Muertos, each of them,
are because we remember and reflect.
Grief and joy are not skin-deep but soul-deep,
reminders that we all love and lose, live and languish,
with a universality that defies accents, borders, and dogma.
David M. Hoenig is a practicing physician for whom writing is his ‘second career’. He recently won 2 short fiction contests (Dark Chapter Press, Espec books) and placed 3rd in another (Morning Rain Publishing). He’s had multiple stories published/accepted to different anthologies with Horrified Press, Zoetic Press/NonBinary Review, Drunk Monkeys Literary, Dark Chapter Press, and Nebula Rift Magazine. He has had poetry published in The Horror Zine (selected as ‘Editor’s Pick Poet’ for November 2015), Ad Libitum, and with Horrified Press, and is working on his first novel. Slowly.