For the first time in a long while,
I went to my jewelry box, a place
Of cameos and my mother’s earrings,
And took out my necklace of delicate gold
And settled it on my collarbone
The cross weighed oddly on my neck,
Heavy with hope.
That ceremonial piece soon became burnished with
Fervent fingers and tearful, breathless prayers
From a strangled throat
“Why him? Why now!” my mother
Beseeched of that antiseptic hospital couch,
Her face half buried in vinyl cushions her
Knees discolored from the floors grime
All the walls are broken now
Your parents are not invincible and
Sometimes kingdoms crumble before their time
An aneurysm was his only crime.
A little girl’s tears scorch my face and
Uncontrollable grief & hiccupping cries
Make my skin blotchy and my nose run
Death is not a beautiful thing.
Permanent; yes. Eternal; yes.
But not every forever is a happy ending.
Now, an oppressive silence, a sea of black
I tremble, and choke out stale words that
Attempt to capture sunlight on water; that elusive, vibrant scene
With a muddy stick
How can I hope to summarize the comfort in his hugs, the warmth of his smile or the way
He used to cry at beautiful films?
I pray my love is accepted, for there are no words to say
Only to speak.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust:
That’s all that remains of my daddy now.
And yet, it isn’t-
I have to believe we are more than flesh and bone
I have to believe we’ll one day return home.