musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Poetry Challenge Day 5: “After-Days”

I didn’t follow the prompt for this one, so looked around in the Notes app on my phone where I sometimes write down snippets that could turn into poems someday. The first line of this poem had been sitting in there quite a while. Can any of you relate to the topic? I hope not!


What do you do with old, worn-out dates,
once celebrated, now fading to gray?
They’ve been an automatic reflex for so long,
anniversaries marking the calendar
like tombstones so solid
I keep stubbing the toe of my heart on them
as the months pass by. 

                                            We met this day,
strangers smiling in a restaurant,
got engaged that day months later.
Toasted decade after decade
of sweet wedding memories in May.
Now I see each one coming in the distance,
muscle-memory auto-pilot, and
brace myself.  For pain? Sometimes.
A tug of sadness, usually. But mostly
the empty cave of absence,
my own voice echoing alone. 

                                               I remember,
or rather, can’t forget, even if
I’m the only one who does, even after
“delete” on the Google calendar.
These dates were important once, and
they remain my past, my story,
how I got to where I am now. 

                                                   I will
trip on them once a year, refusing
steel-toed boots to armor my heart.
Time will build calluses and that is
enough– I will walk on, honoring
memories, and healing.


Photos by Debbie Hudson and Lanty on


  1. Nora Jane Krahn

    Beautiful and honest… I love your line about stubbing the toe of your heart..

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks Nora– I’m not sure where that came from, just popped into my head! Writing poetry is a strange little journey with words and metaphors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2024 Pen and Moon

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: