Three Years after Pink

“Tickled Pink” by Kevin Kling

At times in our pink innocence, we lie fallow, composting waiting to grow.
And other times we rush headlong like so many of our ancestors.
But rush headlong or lie fallow, it doesn’t matter.

One day you’ll round a corner, your path is shifted.
In a blink, something is missing.
It’s stolen, misplaced, it’s gone.
Your heart, a memory, a limb, a promise, a person.

Your innocence is gone, and now your journey has changed.
Your path, as though channeled through a spectrum, is refracted, and has left you pointed in a new direction.

Some won’t approve.
Some will want the other you.
And some will cry that you’ve left it all.
But what has happened, has happened, and cannot be undone.

We pay for our laughter.
We pay to weep.
Knowledge is not cheap.

To survive we must return to our senses, touch, taste, smell, sight, sound.
We must let our spirit guide us, our spirit that lives in breath.
With each breath we inhale, we exhale.
We inspire, we expire.

Every breath has a possibility of a laugh, a cry, a story, a song.
Every conversation is an exchange of spirit, the words flowing bitter or sweet over the tongue.
Every scar is a monument to a battle survived.

Now, when you’re born into loss, you grow from it.
But when you experience loss later in life, you grow toward it.
A slow move to an embrace,
an embrace that leaves you holding tight the beauty wrapped in the grotesque,
an embrace that becomes a dance,
a new dance,

a dance of pink.”

It’s three years today since you left, Pandy. I will always miss you.


  1. Nancy Vogt

    Five years, one month, and one day…through tears, I say thank you.

  2. Beverley McKenzie

    Feeling for you Danny and Jack xx ♥

  3. Holly Kreag

    Beautiful poem, and a very insightful perspective for all of us who have loved and lost. Prayers and good wishes to you, Danny and Jack.

  4. Paula Seixas

    Big kiss, Danny. The poem is beautiful!

  5. Lynn Cohen

    So touched…touching…wishing you strength when you need it the most.

  6. Elsie Hickey Wilson

    Holding both you and Jack in my thoughts and prayers!

  7. Darlene K Campbell

    Lovely writing…thoughts with you and Jack and hugs to you!

  8. Shu-Siin

    I’m not sure of your loss, but I can feel it in these words. And I want to thank you for I’m losing a loved one now and no words I have come across have come at such an appropriate time for me. I will read and reread these beautiful lines until I memorize them so they can carry me out of the pain of loss and around the corner toward a new path.

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    • dannygregory

      If you’d like to hear Kevin read these words, as I did when I heard him on Krista Tippet’s “On Being,” you can here:

  9. Leila

    One Art

    The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
    so many things seem filled with the intent
    to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

    Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
    of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
    The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
    places, and names, and where it was you meant
    to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

    I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
    next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
    The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
    some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
    I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

    – Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
    I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
    the art of losing’s not too hard to master
    though it may look like (Write it!) like a disaster.

    –Elizabeth Bishop

  10. Cynthia Morris

    Sending love to you. You’ve uplifted so many of us. You always evoke so much emotion in me. I think it’s one of your gifts.

    Re-reading A Kiss Before Dying. So sweet.

    Hang in there.

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