Oh, My Ann

My heart cracks open.
Ann, my friend for fifty years,
lost in a coma.

Her husband, John, lost
in his own fog: dementia.
Me: drowning in grief.

Go to Inverness,
I think, to hills of dry grass.
Soothe my weary soul.

Tanya and I plant 
ourselves in our happy place, 
a hillside cabin.

Our host says, “My wife
told me that I said things that
didn’t make sense.”

“I thought about it
while making pancakes, and said,
You’re right!’” Then he laughed.

“Guess what?” Tanya said,
“It’s only downhill from here.”
Then they both laughed.

It rained, got cold, cleared,
rained again. Friends fifty years:
Memories arise…

The War Resisters
in the early seventies,
Anti-war meetings.

We were young women
in a sea full of scraggly
men, holding our own.

At our first meeting,
instant connection that has
lasted all these years.

Graduation to
feminism came next, whew!
Later to spirit.

Gazing at bare trees
silhouetted against a
gray, foggy sunset,

I watch for long hours
with empty-brain, open heart,
peaceful universe.

At night, I wake up
to see zillions of bright stars
and twinkling Venus.

Ann’s flying in air,
with stars and Venus,
free now, completely.

The next morning, we
meander into town to
buy supplies, but no…

Be honest: We’re here
for coconut-chocolate-
chip oatmeal cookies.

Will Ann ever get
to eat one again? I know
it’s a thing she’ll miss.

Driving home again,
I notice green grass sprouting,
pretending it’s spring.

Drawing by Linda Simmel

A few days later,
Ann wakes up, blinks, doesn’t move.
Is she really “there”?

I think, This isn’t
what she wants, languishing with 
no words, tubes, fake air.

More quiet days, filled
with folks who love her dearly,
with people who sing.

Gentle doctors say,
“It’s time to stop life support.”
She dies peacefully.

I had fifty years
of dawns with Ann. Now, she’s gone,
embracing spirit.

Interconnecting Circles

Martina Reaves
Born 1949

When I was 25, I was a daycare teacher for three-year-olds (whom I loved), and lived on fifty acres between Ukiah and Boonville, completely off the grid. I was married to David, but a few year later, I found Tanya, who has been “my person” for 44 years now.

Advice: Listen to your heart. Take things slow and easy. Don’t overthink.


#Martina Reaves


  1. Margaret Kokka - May 8, 2024 @ 3:55 pm

    Your tribute to Ann was lovely and it carried the reader with your journey.

  2. Vivian - April 26, 2024 @ 8:34 pm

    I am so moved by your Haiku tribute to your friend.

  3. Barbara Ridley - April 25, 2024 @ 12:10 pm

    Beautiful. Flows so well

  4. Leann M Gustafson - April 25, 2024 @ 11:58 am

    This is so beautiful and true. I thought of my Jen and our last times together. Spring new beginnings. Love your work.

  5. Diana Dolezal - April 23, 2024 @ 11:50 am

    What a beautiful tribute to your precious Ann. Letting go is so difficult, but the shower of memories so soothing. Thank you for letting us know about her.

  6. Karen Hunt - April 18, 2024 @ 11:15 am

    Just what in needed as I, too, mourn a friend of my youth. Thank you.

  7. Bob Pizzi - April 15, 2024 @ 4:57 pm

    Very beautiful, Martina. Way back in the day in Michigan, I was with the War Resisters League also, whom I consider to be among the most committed and courageous fighters for true peace and social justice. We did door to door canvassing to ask people to resist paying the part of their phone bills that were going toward the Vietnam war effort. Brava, my dear!!!!

  8. David Schweidel - April 14, 2024 @ 4:28 pm

    Love the form! Love the content!

  9. Mardith - April 9, 2024 @ 3:12 pm

    Thank you, Martina. The experience of trying to cope with losing someone. I love that it’s grounded in the coconut chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? Did I get all the ingredients right? I could taste them.

  10. Carl Kopman - April 6, 2024 @ 5:06 pm

    To trace a life and a relationship and a passing all within a serial entry of Haiku– truly wonderful… An honor to your friend.

  11. Daniel Danzig - April 6, 2024 @ 8:16 am

    This is beautiful and touching. It just is so hard to process these events but your verse is comforting to you, me, and all those who will read it, and identify…

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