Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


Remembering Our Life Together as a Cigarette after the Cranberries Show

in Obituaries by

“To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.”
                 —Pablo Neruda

funny how things just seemed
so easy when we were young:
“I like to hit the town on Friday night
and stay in bed until Sunday.”
there was a time I used to pray
we’ll always be this free:
“it’s out there. it’s out there.”
I don’t think it’s going to happen anymore.
I’m sad, not sorry,
about the way that things went.

stay here awhile, stay with me.
I am feeling frail.
will you hold on to me?
how could I let things    get to me so bad?
is that the way we stand?
we’ll have a glass of wine or cigarette.
—I won’t remember champagne—
leave the cobwebs in the closet.

remember the future we planned?
oh, I still do.
I feel so nervous when I think of yesterday.
my feet are off the ground.
from above everything’s stinking.
the world is not waiting out there.

will you hold on to me?
you’re going to have to hold on to me.
you will always understand.
if you should go you should know I love you.

I didn’t understand
the things you’re going through:
child is slowly taken
and there’s time for the mother—
in your head they are crying.
I never understood, I really never knew,
and in the day, everything’s complex,
there’s nothing simple.

all the meaningless and empty
words I spoke—
“the sun will always shine”
“I’ll be at your door”
maybe we should burn the house down. . . .

we will all decay
but it won’t get any harder:
take whatever
you need to take. . . .
carry on


Poet’s Note: All lines of this cento are from songs by Dolores O’Riordan/The Cranberries including “Carry On,” “Disappointment,” “Dreaming My Dreams,” “Dying in the Sun,” “Electric Blue,” “I Still Do,” “I Will Always,” “Just My Imagination,” “Linger,” “Not Sorry,” “Ode to my Family,” “Promises,” “Ridiculous Thoughts,” “Sunday,” “This Is the Day,” “Twenty-One,” “When We Were Young,” “When You’re Gone,” “Will You Remember,” and “Zombie.”


Dolores O’Riordan Was ‘Full of Life’ While on the Phone with Friends Hours Before Her Death [People]
Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan dies suddenly aged 46 [BBC]

Professional editor J. Todd Hawkins writes and lives in Texas. He is the author of the chapbook Ten Counties Away (Finishing Line Press).  His poetry has recently appeared in Rattle Poets Respond, AGNI, The Bitter Oleander, The Louisville Review, Bayou Magazine, and American Literary Review.

Photo of Dolores O’Riordan by Eva Rinaldi.

Latest from Obituaries



By Yvonne Daley. Civil rights activist and Baltimore congressman Elijah Cummings has

Three Eulogies

By Monaye. An ardent obituary for the late, great American novelist Toni
Go to Top