Jan 04

What They Left Behind

George Left “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo” A 3.0 GPA And his widowed mother, too Tommy Left his half-mastered square dance Dreams of New York City And a half-written postcard from France James Left a sweetheart named Billie A bedroom half clean And a one-eyed cat called Willie Charlie Left St. Elizabeth Innocent games of war And many an unspoken syllable Jack Left fears of lightning and thunder His auburn curls And a weeping baby brother Uriah Left a dozen lowing cows Psalm twenty three And unwritten wedding vows Teddy Left cold rootbeer floats on summer days Pacifist morals And an unfinished Shakespeare play They left themselves, too Cold and buried Unsung notes Suspended in time They left pieces of themselves, Photographs and sheet music Shepherd dogs and basset hounds Creaky front steps and warped windows Lines on the page Dog ears in the books Cold, bare granite They left themselves, and they left me too Holding their shards of memory Melting ice Slipping between my fingers Ghosts in the corners They don’t sleep And neither Do I