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To Have and To Hold

Dry, dehydrated crumbs break off the cake.
One year later once tasted
moist and sweet that evening
we first danced.
The cool prong of a fork,
a wedding gift,
pierces the stale icing.

Bending my elbow a little more
I bring the utensil down harder
onto our Anniversary dessert
nearly splitting the smooth glass plate into pieces.
Not our first shattered sacrifice.

One year ago you held me,
Arm in arm saying our hellos
Greeting our guests who had traveled
To share with us, this solemn blessing.

Those first few notes on the piano signaled our dance.
Your sturdy frame led me through the room of rhythm.
As I followed, my lips were wide open with joy;
the corners of my mouth reached up to my eyes

I sit alone with our cake—
The once bright jade in my eyes has grown dim like a winter’s moss.
Choking down a clump of floral-shaped sugar.
The sweetness of that day dissolves.

Laura Grayhttp://ipride.net/
Laura is the Founder/Executive Director of IPride, a self-esteem, empowerment program for youth which she created in 2015. A published author, living kidney donor, and a fervent advocate for sexual assault victims, Laura is a proud mother of 3 sons and 3 dogs. She strives to live each day with a grateful heart and feels especially connected to herself and God when she is in nature. For additional information on IPride, please visit ipride.net. Educations and Certifications; Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Bowling Green State University; Professional Life Coach, IPride Life Coaching, World Coach Institute, Miami FL; Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness Teaching, Breathe for Change, San Francisco, CA.; The Science of Well-Being, Yale University; Personal Trainer, Athletics, and Fitness Association of America. Highlights; Living kidney donor, 2021; Featured author, “Mayhem to Miracles”, Sacred Stories publication, October 2021. IPride YouTube Channel, IPride in 5: Peace In, Peace Out; Presenter, Youth Leadership Summit, 2018, 2020; Panelist, “Sexual Assault: The Conversation Continues”, Bowling Green State University, 2020; Featured Story, “Seen + Heard: A series of photographs of men and women ending their silence with regards to sexual assault”, 2017. Published, “The Little Cloth Secret Keeper”, Women for One: Truthtellers 2017 Published, 3 poems, Luna Negra, Kent State University, 2012.

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