empty wall except for where my painting once hung.
empty house full heart
empty christmas empty tables new paint
same shadows same birds same sky same trees
last winter, spring, drought of summer.
this winter's leaves tell the time.
if you could have lunch with anybody, who would it be?
and what would you like to discuss?
her, of course.
did i do things right?, i would ask, knowing how much i did wrong,
am i forgiven for running when i walked in to find that first surprise of life support?
the hospital told us nothing, nothing,
and i'm sorry, i would tell her,
but my heart fell to my knees
and i shook and they told us nothing,
and i'm sorry, i'm sorry, so sorry.
your eyes were full of fear and drugs
and my heart was tired and broken
and they told us nothing.
i would want to say that to her,
hold her hands in mine and make her understand.
they told us nothing though on the official paperwork they said they called.
they didn't, they didn't, they lied, they lied,
and i'm sorry.
we would have sweet tea and roast beef with carrots and potatoes and she would cook and i would eat too much bread and she would say i am just like my grandfather, and she would laugh, and there would be dessert, there was always dessert, never a cake or pie not in the house. we would sit in her kitchen like we always did, and skye cat would wander about and jump on the counter and my mother would shoosh her off, and give her tidbits of roast on the floor.
is it okay about skye? i would ask,
i am sorry, so sorry,
but your house holds memories and i couldn't move in.
i broke my promise, but i tried, i tried,
and skye was there every day waiting for me after work,
and it was every day, every day for 2 months,
i was in 3 places, my home, work, your home,
a cat at work and your cat there
and there were lawyers and brothers
and endless phone calls and bills and tears
and so i just took her home,
i just took her home.
against my promise, against your wishes,
and is it okay?
she's fine, she's happy, she has no fences to keep her in
and a smile on her face,
and i am so sorry.
one more afternoon in her kitchen.
how precious that would be.
one long last hug.
a goodbye with questions answered.