The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Remembering a week, a man

Rachael Conlin Levy

I find my brain is stiff, my heart sore and my fingers hold the pen awkwardly. Forgive me if I do not make sense, excuse my lack of clarity, for all I am capable of is cataloging the past week where too much occurred, hoping that a list of verbs will help me to decipher and translate all that happened.


Rushing. Listening. Driving. Arguing. Imagining (a home of my own). Offering. Bargaining. Losing. Learning (a friend hurts himself, terribly). Regretting. Hoping. Praying.


Parading. Clapping. Laughing. Kissing. Remembering (a promise made 16 years ago). Loving. Talking. Planning. Hiding. Desiring. Searching. Realizing (my friend is gone).



Holding. Baking (birthday cupcakes). Hunting. Digging. Retrieving. Hurting. Protecting. Wishing (to hold him, his child. Instead, I hold my own). Needing. Opening. Uncovering.


James Welborn.
James with the rest of our wedding party, 1995.
James, Karrie, their Max and mine.


Thank you Anno, whose verbs inspired my own, and for Denise’s song, which could absorb my anger and echo the ache in my head.

2 responses to “Remembering a week, a man”

  1. Oh, Rachael. I don’t know what to say. There is something about this song that penetrates. I’m glad you’ve made use of it. I know your writing will help as you patiently wait for this pain to dull. Take care, Denise

  2. anno says:

    What a devastating week — I’m so sorry to hear this news, sorry for this sudden grief. Thanks for the song and the beautiful pictures. Wishing peace and comfort — and any other sustaining nouns — to you, your family, and James’s family and friends.

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