Thinking of you?
It’s written inside the card I didn’t send.
It is written on the card that comes with the flowers,
the ones I didn’t send.
How far away I am. Days of driving,
sleeping at rest stops, coffee, gum
and of course cigarettes – a perfect
excuse to stop saying no.
All you have are my thoughts,
which are like hands –
tucking in the children
driving them to school
cleaning up after the dog.
There are warning signs: like the slap that gets you started.
But no one prepares you for this – your mother, a child now, dying.
So you prepare yourself:
you bury a pet turtle
you learn about orphans in China
you watch other kids lose a parent,
or you watch movies about it….
So many ways to prepare, yet nothing gets you ready for this.
Breath, stopping, forever….
When it’s your turn to stop breathing
will you finally know what to do?
Is there an instant when you are prepared for what’s next?
Is there something you can’t tell us?
Something that might bring us comfort.
Something that might let us know you are thinking of us.
The way I am thinking of you now.
Failing to be of any use that matters to you now.
Like that creaking door, like the dog barking at ghosts –
And maybe that’s enough –
I mean, when was the last time you saw a ghost?