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.