You Carry It With You

Maggie E. Winkler




You carry it with you. You carry the sound of his voice.

You carry that image. The one of him on the balcony with

His leather-bound kindle propped on his worn Harley Davidson t-shirt with the

holes in the chest. After he is


Gone, you carry the sound of the front door swinging open when

He gets home from work. The symphony of snores down the hall,

Or waking up to the running shower before the sun rose.


You carry his laughter, his deep chuckle, at the back of your own throat.

Knowing he is not here to laugh again. Knowing every laugh is not his.


Who was I then that did not know grief?


You carry that loss with you now, the echo of silence in the space

He used to take up. Then the days grow shorter and


It is September again. Five years and 7,000 miles stretch between you

And the last year he aged. Him stuck there, two drinks deep into

His new promotion, a job he dedicated fifteen years of his life to and

Didn’t get to work a day of. How sad it is. The way we do know loss

Until it falls asleep face down on a barstool.


The way we do not know

Loss until it shows up at the front door in uniform.


The way we do not lose the sense of impermanence once they are gone.

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