There Are No Words

By: Kathy Gardner

I spot her at the grocery store
Her son was killed in 9/11
She is tenderly picking out apples
And I am scowling at green bananas

I wonder if she has heard my news
She answers me
Simply by looking over her shoulder
She must sense a familiar desperation

She turns deliberately and comes over
With a strained but graceful grimace
Of painful knowing
She wraps her arms around my stiff body
Warmly, without asking

“There are no words,” she says to me
Holding me, my body starts to melt
“There are no words,” she says to me again
Pressing our broken hearts together
“There are no words,” she says to me one more time

Then she kisses me on the cheek
And releases me back
Into the world

Still broken, but maybe a tiny bit more whole.

Kathy GardnerAbout Kathy Gardner

Kathy Gardner lives with her husband Charlie and their three sons, Charlie (7), James (4), and Henry (born Dec 2018) in Sandy Hook, CT. Their 3rd child, Tinsley, is already waiting for them in Heaven. Tinsley died suddenly in December 2017 at 32 weeks because of a True Knot in her umbilical cord. Kathy has found comfort in writing poetry to express her grief around losing her daughter and hopes other parents find comfort in her words, too.  She shares about her journey on Less Than One Percent (

Kathy works in public relations, adores Bob Dylan, and is a proud Dartmouth alumn.

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