This is a hard new world to live in.
The terrain seems to take pleasure
in hiding prehistoric sized rocks
under unassuming sand dunes.
Sweltering grief descends quickly here
sometimes a gentle fog transforms
into a barbaric tornado
without any warning
or cover in sight.
I bulldozed my way through a tornado today,
but really it was a 6-year-old’s birthday party.
A simple celebration,
now exhausting and lonely to bear.
I emerge on fire
with an urgency to be near you.
The day is handing its reins to the night
and I don’t have time to pick up a gift.
It will be the first time after months of visits
that I do not have a trinket or a toy or a flower
to lay on your grave.
My heart starts to beat more gently,
as it always does, as I approach your place on the hill.
“I’m sorry sweet girl,” I whimper with my empty hands
and kneel to kiss the cold, pitiless ground.
I press my chapped lips into the frozen dirt
inhaling the closest smell
I have to smelling you.
It is of little use.
You are long gone
and much of the carbon in your little body
has already moved on to someplace else.
And with that revelation, a relief.
Slowly flowers start to return
to flowers — and not a measure
of my connection to you or my grief.
I rise, brush the dirt off of my knees, and blow a kiss into the cool March air.
I stand in the comfort of finally knowing
all I ever really had to offer you
was my love.