ashes to ashes

I thought the hardest part was the phone call

Saying I would never see your smile again.

Then there were sympathy hugs; false commiseration

From people who dismiss your life as sin.


My last memory of you, well, that simply isn’t fair.

No daughter, no friend should remember

cold-corpse fingers, stiff arms and straw-like hair.

I kept expecting you to move.


you were awfully loved.  The church was crowded.

warm bodies pushed together, jostling

spilling out into the bluesky summer afternoon.

Mourning what would be forgotten..


The hardest part was yet to come, though.

That took weeks.  Months.  Years.

Slow, insidious, cruel me – I kept living

Living without you, without tears.


I stopped expecting you to be there.

Stopped reaching for the phone.

Stopped each half-turn at a familiar gleam of hair

Stopped crying for the loss of you.


Ah, that’s the cruelest of all.  Acceptance.

Acceptance that you won’t return.

That I’ll never see that smirking glance.

That we’ll never again be back to “us”




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