When The Feathers Fall

It’s the height of summer and there’s nothing but warmth and sunlight and trees thick with green blowing in the soft breeze, here on the west coast of Canada. Everything is green. Everything is alive, and it feels like a lie.

We’ve lost so much, and still we stand. Not strong, but together. Somewhere outside the howling madness the reasons nudge their way in, explaining away the ragged holes in our family. It was for the best, they say. He didn’t want to live.

I know he didn’t want to live.

I knew when he looked at me across the kitchen table and said, broken-eyed, “I don’t want to go on, Emmy. I don’t want to go on anymore,” while his wife’s ashes took up a whole room of sorrow for themselves.

Hope is the thing with feathers, right?

What happens when the feathers fall, melting, too close to the sun? A small splash in an arcing, cosmic web of cyclical life and death. But when standing next to that splash, it’s easy to be soaked. Stand next to many, and the water soaks into your bones.

I’m aching with my mind and my heart.

I’m done with death.


a small sad, a strange: hug

i am strange today
usually the case, but now
see, i’d like a hug.

this strange is quiet
unsettling, almost sad
hell of an ordeal.

but not my ordeal
or is it? i’m relative
relative, right.

but relatively
i’m not too sad, as sad goes
i just need a hug.

© Emily Bragg 2013

Grief is a Strange Animal

It’s a lurking creature. You never know when it’s going to strike.

Earlier today, my grandmother passed away. She had been having heart complications for the past five weeks, and although we thought she was recovering, she suddenly took a turn for the worse yesterday. My mother and my uncle flew out to go be with her and my grandpa yesterday evening, and they were able to spend hours with her before she passes. Mum says she recognized them, which was important.

I’m not sad now. I might be, in five minutes, or an hour, or five days. I’m aching for my mum. I’m aching for my grandpa, because he’s lost the woman he spent his life with. But I’m not sad that she’s gone. Right now.
Right now I’m not sad that she’s gone.

There are people who you love because they’re incredibly nice, giving, generous people. There are people you love because they’re quirky, affectionate, friendly, because they have that special something that makes you click, and there are people that you love because they’ve stood by you in the hardest times of your life and made you laugh.

And then, there are people you love just because they’re family. I loved my grandmother because she was family, because she was human, and because of that, I can forgive the things she’s said. There’s no use holding grudges against those who are gone of this earth. I can forgive how she hurt my mother, I can forgive the things she did that made me burn with hatred because I don’t even think she knew she was doing it. It was how she learned to do things, I guess.

My favourite story of my grandmother was one she told me herself: the story of how she and my grandpa became an item. She was out with her girlfriends one day, eighteen and giggly, and a group of young men walked past. My grandma pointed at my grandpa, and told her girlfriends “That’s for me. That one’s for me.” I can still remember how her eyes triumphantly sparkled as she told me this story, finishing with “And now he is.” She had her heart set on him from the minute she laid eyes on him, and it’s with that kind of sweet romance that I’m going to remember her; as the young lady who swiftly chose her own man with all her heart.

I hope you hear me, grandma, somehow, when I say that I do love you. I’ve always loved you. I hope you give ’em hell wherever it is that you are, because lord knows you raised enough of it while you were here. Goodnight, Grandma Carol.

© Emily Bragg 2013

Body’s Rare/Wait All Night

I started writing with nothing in mind, and this took shape. Hopefully gonna record a rough track with my brother playing bass and me on some kind of percussion (egg shaker?). Think old school smooth jazz, and let the lyrics mess with your mind. (Any thoughts on title?)

Body’s rare
Folks are starin’
Don’t seem fair
This girl’s got eyes

Take her home
Take her clothes off
Take her soul
And what’s left inside

‘Cause Hell don’t wait
For angel signs
Words for saints
Ain’t what we hear

No, Hell don’t wait
For angel signs
Words for saints
Ain’t what we hear

Lie awake
Know she’s breathin’
By your side
Oh, by your side

Hear her fade
Slow surrender
By your side
Oh, by your side

Body’s cool
Heat’s a-fadin’
Beats don’t beat
An’ sighs don’t sigh

Walk all night
Sky is breakin’
One more star
Up in the sky

Hell don’t wait
For angel signs
Words for saints
Ain’t what we hear

No, Hell don’t wait
For angel signs
Words for saints
Ain’t what we hear

She’s so cold
Her lips gone blue
But you wait all night
You wait all night

You wait all night
You wait all night

© Emily Bragg 2013