A Returning



A Returning


Of many wonderful choices—

Urns antiqued, bronzed, burnished copper

polished cherry and gleaming ebony—

Hers only a small, white cardboard box,

a smooth oval matte-finish pearl


as easily disposed of as ashes inside

like feathers of snowflakes silently filter

innocence, fitting for her

simple path that flees the earth as found.                                      

It needs no weight for gravity—

her life provided that.


I bring it to my garden ground—

kneel beside a curl of worms, gold-fattened bees,

sit Shiva with two mourning doves, watch Monarchs

dust perennials, pay no particular regard until

a wee brown wren’s melody swirls my orphaned heart

above the darkened sky, then softly, swiftly,

light returns, reincarnates my world.


                                                                ~ for Elizabeth


  Bernadine Lortis


Along with reading, gardening, and dabbling in watercolor, Bernadine (Bernie) has been writing secretly and sporadically for years but began submitting in 2016 when family responsibilities lessened. Since then, fiction, creative nonfiction and over 25 poems have been published in online journals and print anthologies including Ariel Chart, Persimmon Tree, Mused-Bella Online, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Silver Birch Press, Millers Pond, Poetry Super Highway, Cosmo Funnel, Every Writer's Resource, Martin Lake Poetry, Haiku Universe and Lost Sparrow Press. She credits love of and respect for nature to growing up on a farm in S.W. Minnesota on the prairies of the Buffalo Ridge. With degrees in Interior Design, Adult and Elementary Education and Real Estate licensure, after a short time in San Francisco and Iowa she settled in St. Paul, MN, with her husband near their daughter.



  1. Tender, heart-felt, blessed....Elizabeth is smiling right now, waiting for you with open arms.

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