Obituary for Permanence By Jennifer Boyd

Obituary for Permanence

For Cecilia

The glass house stands alone
in the last cool moment. The girl breathes life
into stillness, daredevils of ash brushing the walls
without a promise of permanence.
She inhales.
As she opens her lips, she remembers the ancient:
her mother, more awake than ever,
eyes wide and fixed for eternity.
Her face felt smooth like summer squash.

The one they said didn’t have a relationship with God –
the chain smoker, who inched closer to past tense
with each faint exhalation,
the resigned, who had nothing to hold onto
but dissipating puffs, head skimming the surface –
she released her sins as the water clouded like dust.

Her mother, a stranger,
engulfed in rawness and bitter wanting.

She no longer feels the urge to weep, to curse,
to erode like the one whose body lay in the bathtub.
She surrenders to the lingering silence
that seeks to hush the clamor inside.
She gulps air like a salmon.
Puffs become ashes.
When the ember’s tip fades to darkness,
she’ll finally have something to hold onto.

By Jennifer Boyd


Jennifer Boyd is a high school student from Boston, Massachusetts. She is a blog contributor at both the Huffington Post and Voices of Youth, UNICEF’s global online platform. Jennifer’s poetry has been published recently in New Plains Review, Glass Kite Anthology, the Critical Pass Review, and Tower Journal. Her work has additionally been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Hollins University, Smith College, and Princeton University. When not writing, she enjoys playing the piano, singing, and learning new languages.

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