grief poetry

Still Waiting

Sitting poolside
On this hot July day
Basking in the sun,
Eyes closed against the strong rays

Two years here alone
Two summers without you
A lifetime between then and now
But I find I’m…

Still waiting

Still waiting to hear the back door slam
You, back from your bicycle ride

Still waiting to feel your shadow cross my face
To open my eyes and see you standing here

Looming over me
Strong and tall and tanned and exhausted
Smile on your face
Already in your swim trunks

Still waiting for you to lean down
And greet me with a kiss
Or two
For you to smile into my eyes

Still waiting to watch you dive into the pool
To see you emerge from the brisk cold water
To hear you say, “Brrr!”
And plunge again and again into the deep center

And only a few minutes later,
To watch you climb out of the pool and say,
“Ah, that was refreshing!”
And lean down to kiss me once again

Before walking across the deck
And through the French doors,
Eager to continue to enjoy
This beautiful day

Yes, this is a beautiful day
A day that would have been more lovely with you

And two years later, I’m surprised to learn
That lying here, basking in the sun
Eyes closed against the strong rays

I’m still waiting

About the author

Katherine Billings Palmer is a technical writer, poet, and essayist from Garden City, Michigan. She’s won several academic writing awards, including first place in the University of Michigan Dearborn Critical Essay Contest for her work about poet John Donne: “‘The Sun Rising’: A Lover’s Boast.”

In 2017, Katherine’s husband, Rick, died of complications from small cell lung cancer. She wrote a series of poems and essays about her struggles to cope with her grief. I Wanted to Grow Old With You is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Her latest book, A Widow’s Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry – The First Year was published in January 2019 and is also available on

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at

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