I cannot believe it is already July. I have known for a couple months now that my poem "How Cool Kids Lace Their Shoes" was slotted to be released in the first issue of Passengers Journal on July 1, but when I got the email notifying me of its release today, I was totally taken by surprise! Not a bad surprise to get, though, admittedly.
The first thing I did was text my dad. My dad is in this poem. And so is my sister. Because it is the poem that I wrote several months ago after my Uncle Ron died suddenly. I flew to New Orleans to be with the rest of my family as we all processed our loss together and celebrated the life of the person who was so special to us all. I saw my family come together in a way I never really had before, which is at once so special and so sad. I will cherish it nonetheless.
The grief that I chronicle in this poem has not entirely disappeared. We are all hurting in some way, some more acutely than others. Recently, my dad and my sister drove down to New Orleans to retrieve my uncle's motorcycle, which I think was largely their way of processing this loss. I don't really know if I've fully processed it yet, because I think I'll have to write another poem once I do.
I have watched and heard several family members cry as a response to this poem, and though I don't wish to see anyone hurting, the fact that my words were able to reach people in this way is so incredibly touching and important to me. It makes me tear up a little, too.
We're all still hurting and feeling our loss, but sharing this poem has been healing for me during this whole process. So I am so honored and excited to share that this poem has been published in Passengers Journal, where more people, people I don't know and never will know, can read this poem. I only hope that it can help heal them in some way, too.
To read the poem online, click here.
Here is one of the illustrations my sister Sophia Swoboda did while in the hospital with my uncle and our family before his passing, paired with my poem by our grandfather.