Thursday, April 3, 2014

Addressing the Loss--By Maralee Gerke--United States

Addressing the Loss

I haven’t crossed her name
out of my address book
my heart stops me.

She is recently gone.
Her birthday this month
leaves me orphaned.

She is ash now.
Buried with my dad on a hill.
Severed connections flap
like tatters in October wind.

Someday maybe, I’ll
be able to erase her
from my book
but never from my heart.

Maralee Gerke lives and writes in Madras, Oregon. She is and avid reader and gardener. She describes herself as a work in progress. Her poems have been published in Calyx, Exit Thirteen, Moonset, Bathtub Gin, Anthology, Nerve Cowboy, Avocet, and Tigers Eye. She has published two books of poems and has had poetry and prose accepted in several anthologies. Her work can be seen online at Shadow Poetry, Long Story Short, and Moontown Café. She recently recorded 4 poems for the Oregon Poetic Voices Project. They can be heard at One of her poems “Refuge”, was recently selected to be printed as a limited edition broadside by the Penland School of Crafts.


  1. Thank you, Isha Wagner, for the following comment--

    A sad as sad but beautiful poem from Maralee Gerke and how I correlate with that (and suspect thousands in this world do exactly the same) : a loathing to cross out names in our address books of those who have crossed the line of life. Somehow one just cannot. Blessings and thanks, Maralee.

    Isha Wagner

  2. Maralee, thank you for sharing your talent with us. Truly a sad yet well written poem and a great reminder that though our loved ones may have crossed the "great divide" they will be forever in our hearts and it is my firm belief that we WILL greet them again with warm embraces when it is our turn to cross over. My dear mother has been gone for 8 years and I have not crossed her off my address book. I love the memory of her even at seeing her name.

    1. Charlene thanks for the wonderful comments on my poems at Whispers. It is nice to know how others feel about the work we do as a poet. I haven't been writing much as I have been working on a new poetry book. It will come out in late July I think. Thanks again..Maralee

  3. Maralee, your beautifully touching poem touches my heart. I recently experienced the loss of a beautiful member of my family and your words hit a familiar bell in my soul. I also lost a good friend, or at least whom I thought was a good friend and I am not sure if that is even more difficult than losing one in death. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words. Sheri /

  4. Hello Maralee, I was very moved by your poem. I'm not able to cross the names of friends and family members who passed out of my address book either. Your poem brought tears to my eyes as I know these people will always be in our hearts. Material things can be replaced, but not people and the memories we cherish. Very beautifully written! Love and blessings, Carolyn

  5. Hi Maralee. Thank you for sharing this touching poem. There are people we love that may be gone from among us, but they will never be forgotten. Blessings to you for such a delightful poem. Continued blessings!

    -Maurice J. Reynolds, Owner / Editor
    TGBTG! Publications / Creative Inspirations