The Ones We Miss

Thinking a lot today about people I’ve lost. My mother-in-law, my dad. These are for them.


Absence (for Mama)

There is a shape to loss;

An outline in the air,

A gap in things where you used to fit.


A favorite sweater, soft white wool;

A piano with stilled keys;

Violets on the windowsill, watched over like grandchildren

Until there was no one to water them

And pinch off the leaves with curled brown edges.

You remain in fragments;

White blossoms rimmed in purple, a grandson’s smile,

A memory of music in the air.


We take out these memories sometimes,

Unfurl them like a scroll,

And read again the words we cherished there;

Because nothing can erase the story of you.


Dad’s Last Things

A French grammar by your empty bed,

Near it a spiral notebook half-filled.

That poem you found about the crow–Robert Frost–

You wanted to share it with the nurses

But never got the chance.

The grammar, the notebook–they come home with us;

They are all we have left.

Somewhere else

The crow shakes snow from its feathers,

Takes wing…

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One Response to The Ones We Miss

  1. Meg says:

    Moving and lovely.

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