The Essence is Still Here

November 5, 2008
By Jackie Katz, New York, NY

On the Sidewalk

When I’m on the sidewalk and look down at my feet,
Ordinary people see trash and concrete.
I see the feet of others walk by me.
I see the feet of my mother walking right beside me.
Her feet walking left, then right.
I remember those New Balance sneakers, size 6 and a half—am I right?
Her jeans the perfect length, just touching her ankles
So perfect, so beautiful, so beautiful.
So if I see her crystal clear,
I see her right there, right here!
Next to me, holding my hand
This feeling, this wonderful feeling, so grand
Wait, was she here just now and gone just then?
Where did she go?
Walked right through thin air?
Is this possible? No, stop, don’t go! You can’t!
I swear, I’m not crazy, she was really there!
Just a second ago, I swear.


The light beaming from behind the tree
The warmth of a fire comforting me
The soft touch of satin sheets on my skin
The little voice talking to me from within

The cloud floating by right when I look at the sky
The cab swinging round the bend right when I arrive
The 5-dollar bill I find on the street
The dessert I have as a special treat

The door creaking open in the middle of the night
The lost book appearing by your picture
The memory of throwing up on you mid-flight
The good times and bad, a wonderful mixture

The presence is always there
Embedded in my heart no less
Floating about in the air
I can almost feel your gentle caress
Soaring through memories
Whooshing through my brain
Snippets of laughter, tears
A child screams with joy
Splashing in the pool, swinging at a ball
Eating breakfast even
I have it all.

Its still there I tell you
It can’t be gone
Cause, if it’s gone, what then?
What happens to me?
That can’t be, can’t be true.
Then I’d have no place
It was you that put me here.
Now that I’m alone I can’t fear your absence
I can’t cry for your absence.
You’re here, somewhere.


I haven’t seen my sister for more than seven years,
Yet, when I look at a photo, she still
Inspires me.
The passion and beauty and grace
The kindness, the gentleness, the sweet heartedness
I am motivated to be a
Better person.
A better person in order to represent her more
Carry her with me wherever I go
She is a part of me
In my blood, in my veins
Her fire circulating through my body.
I need her so much, I miss her so much
I want to see her so much
More than can possibly be described in any way imaginable.
The only thing I can do
Is keep her inside me because she’s not outside me
Remember her
Forever and ever and ever
Never let her go
She is my sister
My closest companion
I will enable her to grow.

Fragmented Pieces

My story is splattered.
A part I remember here, a clip from there
Nothing is cohesive, nothing makes true sense
I don’t even see the purpose of remembering anymore
Because the fragmented pieces of my life tell no story
Like ashes, there were once something, they once held meaning
And now the ashes are unrecognizable and have no use

The things I remember from the past don’t hold their true value
As I get older,
I remember less and less and it’s scary.

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