uneasy rider

‘Impossible’, scarcely can she gasp the words
Through the phone.
‘7 years it has been since his fragile heart
Beat its last against his massive
37 year old ribs
It seems nearly sacrilegious to speak of his death
In a casual tone.’

Like a 7 year itch his eulogy tolls,
as still we
Argue against God’s rationale.
Why him instead of one of us.

Each day the shock still rings
as we
brush by some minor memento.
cobwebs that are him
still startle
slapping face and sticking to folded hands
for hours
in places that curiously cling to his ghost.

summoned or not
he arrives
lightning’s spear in desert coffee black:
a roaring polished Harley swoops along
An August highway. Headed to South Dakota.
A dune buggy putts loudly through downtown.
His dented, rusting ‘60 Ford Pickup
Under new ownership,
offends the ear and eye,
All without him at the helm.

cancel, scrub, erase, delete have failed
erase, delete, rinse, repeat

for 7 years to the day
he has lazed in the grassy hammock
a simple block away

we have been dutiful
planted flowers, carried water,
brought tokens, mementos, gifts, music, lights

Worn is the path to his picture encased in granite.
Where he pilots the prairie sky.

Everyone watches her
as I do. that she should be better by now.
Grief passed. by now. Time.
pain easing.
tears ceasing.
But he left a wicked benediction.

For the thousandth time
Her wound grows not less but more.
That same agony she suffered
any unkind word now painfully engrained,
For he argues no more.
His silence
Torments waking and sleeping.

She screaming alone, by his grave
While he characteristically withdraws.
‘I am nearly dry of my tears’ as
She ruffles the raw heated stone
Like she once did his hair.
She has ached to trade places with him
Release him back into the sun.
To open roads that called him
Unexplored sky implored
While she circles in self-made prisons.

In winter, I have seen her kneeling in snow
Forging one last prayer of forgiveness
Reaching under the long frozen flowers
the icy grip
Consistently resisting the urge to cover herself with his
Flowing fluffy blanket
Crying crystals.

He left.
a wicked benediction.

She dreads this day, faithfully as any grass widow.
She continues the lie she calls her life.

She whispers as she rises,
‘How I yearned to live with you
How I failed.
How I yearn to live without you
How I fail.’

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