Sunday, December 18, 2011


After the dust had settled or, more accurately
The ashes, in particular, yours – your ashes
I waited for darkness to descend and left town
Crept back out the gravel road in your truck
Looking for the signs I’d noticed during the day
To lead me back to your trailer; I found it easily
That surprised me a little; I’d only been there once
There was no moon and few landmarks, still
It was as if you were there, guiding me somehow
I didn’t make any wrong turns, found the old mill
That crazy odd looking thing you took care of–
Guarded, I guess – for rent-free trailer space
I wish I could tell you I felt really good about it–
The place where you lived; once I found it
And let myself in, found the lantern and fired it up
I wish I could say it was really homey when
The glow of the lantern filled the trailer
And that even though it was near freezing
It was all cosy in there, and your sleeping bag
Made for sub-arctic temperatures was warm enough
I wish I could say I thought it was a nice way to live
But really, as I sat there on your filthy bunk
Studying your used bottles of oxygen, leaning like drunks
Against the corner of the trailer, and each other
All I felt was chilled to the bone and sadder than sad
And so alone, more alone than I’d ever felt before
I wish I could say you and I were different enough
That I knew you wouldn’t feel like that out there
You and your dog – no wonder you always had to have
Yourself a dog, and treated your dog like family
Kathy, Spike and finally, Simon – they were your family
Weren’t they? After all – when you came into money
That little bit of cash from the government – whose teeth
Did you get fixed? Yours? Nope – Simon’s…just like a parent
I wish I knew you never felt alone or lonely, or for want
Of a better word, isolated – especially way out there
By the railroad tracks in the middle of nowhere
But none of us goes through life without feeling
Like that sometimes, and I think you knew that better
Than most – I wish I could say it made us closer
But we both know that just would not be true.



  1. i wish i had a sleeping bag made for sub-arctic temperatures

  2. I got completely sucked into the emotion of this wonderful piece of writing. By the end, I was so sad. Sad for what was gone and for what was left.

    (Thank you for visiting my Blog and for your very kind comments. I am now following your words...

  3. S.E. this is really magnificent, it truly does pull you in and I keep wondering is the speaker talking of a parent figure estranged for a long time? Whatever the relationship this is a very moving piece of writing.

  4. Beautifully written, this pulled me in too with its wishes, wonderings, and wanderings down memory's lane... Not regret so much as nostalgia, I think, and perhaps a wish things could have been different between the I and the you...

  5. Thank all of you for reading and commenting - especially for all the kind words. This is a piece close to my heart ... my brother died just before Christmas last year and I wrote quite a few poems (a whole month of small stones in fact)about him or in memory of him. Very perceptive of you rch to recognize the note of estrangement between the lines - thanks again to all of you - it means everything when others read your words, "get" them, and tell you so.

  6. This is beautiful. The cadence of it flows over me as I take in the feel of the story. Rich and poignant. I love this piece. Thank you for sharing yourself.

  7. A great story...the distance between too people..physical and emotional. I could feel the regret...

  8. Thank you both, Brenda and Susie - your insights and comments are greatly appreciated.