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  • Writer's pictureStacie Eirich

Gathering Ribbons

Gathering Ribbons

for Shepherd, Mason & Alexander

I dreamt of red, beating wings, vibrant

cherry-red petals, the orange-red fire

of sunset, a vivid red-gold jersey

on a green field. These visions accompanied

by: birdsong, rain, wind, laughter, cheering.

After waking, Remembering:

three boys, three warriors,

three friends, three angels.

The threads of dream and memory gathering us,

stitching us together, Remembering: The wings

of a cardinal, the petals of poppy flowers,

the cotton of a football hoodie. Remembering:

The way each boy smiled, listened, spoke, laughed.

The way their mothers held them. The way their mothers

held us. A circle of reds, ribbons streaming bright

and long, tears in equal pools of grief and joy.

Remembering: how we raced toy cars, painted

animal sculptures, played cards and prayed

with them, dined and sang songs with them,

held hands with them. Remembering:

how we passed them on walks through hospital halls

and housing greenspaces, sat with them in waiting areas,

shared space and time and bread, built birdhouses and

painted rainbows, pockets of light breaking through sorrow.

Remembering: How filled with smiles and tears, terrible grief

and tremulous hope we were. How we spoke love and care

to each other, embraced each other. Gathered

bright ribbons, twirled them until we were bound

together, strong as the rising fight within us, red

with the pulse of our children’s hearts, raw

with our cries for breath, for peace, for life — for love

to surround and keep us, for courage to fill and carry us.

Feeling: The cardinal’s swift wings, the poppy’s

sweet petals, the hoodie’s soft fire.

How each boy, each warrior, each angel

enfolds us in warmth, points our compass

upwards, to something that strengthens

and supports us, their red ribbons soaring

skyward, trails of smiles and footprints of laughter

streaking endless love across the wide blue.

Copyright @Stacie Eirich July 5, 2024


Thank you for reading, and for stopping by my blog today. Please consider making a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in support of children and families fighting pediatric cancer, and to help fund research for cures. Every dollar matters and positively impacts the lives of families like ours and our friends.

In hope,


*Post Script* My child is a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  If you’d like to follow our journey to a cure, visit:

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