A Tiding of Magpies…Three Essays


A tiding of sorrow, for I cannot see,

I turn around, but light blinds me.

The sadness of the people fills the air,

As I look around, I see friends and family there.

Crying and weeping, everyone dressed in black.

I hear my mother say it’s hard for her to sleep,

Then I try to talk back.

She cannot hear me, not a word I say.

I shout “What’s wrong?” but she moves away.

I walk to the front, and there I see me.

Lying in a casket so peacefully.

I touch my hand, things flash before my eyes,

It’s all the joyful memories I’ve lived throughout my life.

All my friends, and the people I knew.

My best friends, and a boyfriend too!

The happy times I’ve shared,

All the people who cared.


I see one full memory.

It’s just my grandfather and me.

He’s sitting, I’m standing there

Listening, as he teaches me a prayer.

“I washed my hands this morning,

I washed them nice and clean.

I held them up to Jesus and asked him were they clean.

Some say give me silver,

Some say give me gold

I say give me Jesus for our dying souls.”



A tiding of sorrow is common in a place without joy.

A tiding of girls is girls only. No boys.

A tiding of silver is not as good as a tiding of gold.

But many would gather for a story that hasn’t been told.

A Tiding of Magpies is not always good

The meanings are confused and often misunderstood

1 for Sorrow is not always bad

soon you will have 2 for Joy because you were sad.

3 for a Girl is sometimes upsetting

because 4 for a Boy is always expected.

5 for Silver is A-okay.

6 for Gold will make your day.

7 for a story is quite confusing

because telling you a story that has never been told is what I am doing.

And if you think I am telling you lies,

I am not.

I have just seen A Tiding of Magpies

with my own two eyes.



After commenting on each of the six words, she told this story.

I have never told the story about the week my father left my mom. I did tell the story of the day he left, but I never told the aftermath of it. I never felt so depressed in my entire life.

My father left in the summer of 2014. I lived in Parkville with my mother, my older sister, and my niece. We had no car, no money, and hardly enough food. Our lease was up the next month. We had nowhere to go because my mother didn’t have a job, so she had no means to support us. She was also in no shape to even take care of us.

My mother was in a deep depression. She went through a cycle of emotions daily. The only thing she would do is lie in her bed and cry all day and night. She also hid out in the basement so my sister and me couldn’t hear or see her. We had to hide all the medicine in the house because we didn’t want my mother to do anything stupid. It was very scary seeing my mother like that because I had never seen her in that shape before.

My sister did the best she could in the situation we were in. She stepped in and took control over the house. Together, we tried to maintain the routine that we had previously lost. My sister would cook dinner every night, and I did the dishes. My sister had to do the things that my mother didn’t do. She had to be a mother to her own daughter and, ever since then, she has been a mother to me.

Even though this story is full of sorrow, a lot of joy came out of it. I have learned new things about myself, and my relationship with my sister has been amazing ever since.

Some people choose to only see the bad things, but others, like me, are able to also see the good. (Shades of Silver Linings Playbook…Mr. Don’s edit.)

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