Team of Light

By: Ellen Henning

A circular table takes the center of a casual,
70’s style, celestial dining room off the kitchen,
autumn in the window and tiny roses in the wallpaper pattern. Small stacks of crossword puzzles and books wait for when
the team turns weary, watching me cry in my car and eat Cliff bars.

Divine Angel Energy abounds, filling every inch of empty space.
Jane Kenyon reads a pink paperback copy of “Little Women” while
she pets my cat Peaches from girlhood in her lap. A spider named
Charlotte spins silently near the ceiling, almost invisible above Anthony.
He shuffles cards– his young face back on his head, eyes a firework sparkle.

My father walks easy ( with hair and work boots ) in a small triangle from seat to stove to turntable as he cooks, Greta Van Fleet’s “From The Fires” spinning.
No one cries. No one spills. Food tastes like food. Made perfect. Every time.
Before dinner each night, Dad writes one simple sentence– “I’m sorry”
on a yellow legal pad next to my name in his neatly blocked, beautiful letters.

The team smokes cigarettes that can’t kill you while deliberating
which eagles, hawks, German Shepherds and geraniums to send.
Their messages can convince me God is real on the right kind of day.
On others, down here, I stubbornly believe I will only heal
by holding his apology in small, slight hands that look like his.


Ellen Henning has a B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Augustana, 2010) and an M.A. in Speech Pathology (Miami University, 2012). Ellen currently co-owns Marigold Pediatric Therapies (est. 2019).

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