Your name rolls through my head, thunder
and wind; the gentle downpour after
My boy. My boy. My beautiful son.
Why did you…why didn’t you…?
I didn’t mean to go; I just didn’t want to stay.
‘Why’ is your name, without the gentle rain.
I fought too much
I fought too hard
I fought futile battles time would never ease.
You could have. You did. Over and over again.
You were stronger.
No. I wasn’t. And that’s the fact you can’t–
Won’t grasp. You hold up my mirror to those few
ideal years. Golden boy. King of the world. Anything
mine for the asking. The taking.
But it was a lie. The one you wanted to believe
I did too. I swear. But the other me was real. The one who thought.
The one who knew. The one who hid his fight behind a
smile. The one who fought for others
because the fight inside raged on. He was the one you wanted me to be,
And that made it all the worse.
It isn’t true. I wanted you. I wanted the best
version of you, whatever that was. You had so much to give–
I had nothing left…
You were only twenty-five!
And ancient beyond counting years.
Pain wears a body down. Exhausts the mind.
I know! I know! Don’t you think I know?
I watched you, every day. I took you to doctors.
I rubbed your leg. I dissected every cue into
every possibility. Until I didn’t.
And that should tell you something, shouldn’t it?
I don’t like what it says.
I didn’t mean to go. I just couldn’t stay.
When given my choice, I left everything behind
including you. Your worry. Your tears. Your love.
The bad, and the good. Sweet dreams, Turtle.
I dreamed my eldest daughter
was a teenager again,
tasked with buying cookies for a party. She chose
lemon, and lime, tomato and basil flavored,
in the box store where dinosaurs wrought havoc
among the patrons.
There had been a bridge, and a gate
between their world and ours.
Someone had opened the gate.
Someone had let them in.
While my daughter and I bought cookies
in a past that never was.