Three Poems by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

In the Garden, Again

After breaking, after kneeling,
after raising my ripe fist, after
opening my palm, after
clenching it again, after running,
after hiding, after taking off
my masks, after stilling,
after shouting, after bargaining
with God, after crumpling
and cursing, after losing,
after song, after seeking,
after breath, after breath,
after breath,
I stand in the sunflowers
of early September
and watch as the bees weave
from one giant bloom to another,
and I, too, am sunflower,
tall-stemmed and face lifted,
shaped by the love of light
and the need for rain.
I stand here until some part of me
is again more woman than sunflower,
and she notices how,
for a few moments,
it was enough just to be alive.
Just to be alive, it was enough.


A New Kind of Conversation

It is possible to be with someone who is gone.
—Linda Gregg, “The Presence in Absence”

I have no phone receiver to connect me to the other side,
but every day I speak to my beloveds through candle flame.
Every night, I speak to them through the dark before sleep.
I speak to them in the car when I am alone.
I speak to them when I walk beneath stars,
when I walk in the woods, when I walk in the rain.
It is possible to be with someone who is gone.
It is possible to feel what cannot be seen,
to sense what cannot be heard,
to be held by what cannot be touched.
It is possible for love to grow after death.
If there is a secret language, it is, perhaps, openness.
The way air lets light move through.
The way a window invites in the scent of grass.
The way sand receives the ocean,
then, rearranged, lets it pass.



Now I understand how grief
is like a mushroom—
how it thrives in dark conditions.
How it springs directly
from what is dead.
Such a curious blossoming thing,
how it rises and unfurls
in spontaneous bourgeoning,
a kingdom all its own.

Like a mushroom,
most of grief is never seen.
It grows and expands beneath everything.
Sometimes it stays dormant for years.

Grief, like a mushroom,
can be almost unbearably beautiful,
even exotic, delicate, veiled,
can arrive in any shape and hue.
It pulls me closer in.

Like a mushroom, grief
asks me to travel to regions
of shadow and dim.
I’m astonished by what I find—
mystery, abundance, insight.
Like a mushroom, grief
can be wildly generative.
Not all growth takes place
in the light.


Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer co-hosts Emerging Form podcast on creative process, Secret Agents of Change (a surreptitious kindness cabal) and Soul Writers Circle. Her poetry has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, PBS News Hour, O Magazine, Rattle, American Life in Poetry and her daily poetry blog, A Hundred Falling Veils. Her most recent collection, Hush, won the Halcyon Prize. Naked for Tea was a finalist for the Able Muse Book Award. One-word mantra: Adjust.

22 thoughts on “Three Poems by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

  1. Thank you for sharing these poems Rosemerry. I did not realize we were kindred spirits in this way, but your words resonate so well with me today. My son, Michael’s birthday was the 9th, so I feel his presence heavy with me now. Sending blessings to warm your heart as the sun warms your face. ❤️

    1. Oh dear Kaye, thank you for sharing with me about Michael’s recent birthday. Thank you for the blessings, for the warmth. I am sending love and blessings and warmth to you, too, friend. ❤️

  2. Rosemerry, dear, thank you for these exquisite poems, full of love and wisdom. May the Great Spirit be with you as you are with others. Wish I could hug you! HOL Sally

    1. Oh Sally, thank you. Thank you for your hugs that I received through the ether–thank you for all the support and and love you have shared with me for so long. HOL, Rosemerry

  3. Oh Rosemerry, each poem leaves me stunned by the courage and beauty of grief, my heart a bit more opened. Thank you for sharing the memories of your precious son and your journey with us. I’m sending you a bouquet of love.

    1. Thank you for the bouquet of love, Karly. I receive it with enormous gratitude, especially knowing just how intimately you know deep grief. Big love to you, friend.

  4. Your poems are beautiful and each time I read one, I am amazed that you are able to turn your grief into a thing of beauty. Wishing you continued healing – Carol Ruth

    1. Carol, thank you. Thank you for your words, for your healing wishes. I can tell you they matter, they matter, they matter. I am so grateful for the love and good energy from others that has not only buoyed me, but transformed me. Sending you hugs.

  5. Oh, how I open again and again with your written word. Thank you for sharing your tender heart with us, for showing us how to bring pain and beauty to form, how to keep going, step by step, word by word. Sending you love and continued healing.

    1. Thank you dear McKenzie. Oh friend. I have been thinking about you and wondering about you and those babies and your heart and more. Thank you for the love and healing thoughts. I am so grateful for you.

  6. Rosemerry and her poetry makes my life more bearable, more worth living. I return to her poems time and time over and over again and again, repeatedly. At least one of them continues saving my life.

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