Sitting across from me,
I watch your shoulders shake as you sobbed
Tears of resignation and despair.
I hugged your frail frame in the doorway
And watched you walk down the hall
On your way to hope and healing.
Lying next to you in bed,
I held you as you cried tears of shame and fear
Upon learning that your livelihood was gone.
I rubbed your head and neck
And whispered soothing words
As pain gave way to sleep and comfort.
Cuddled up next to you on the couch,
Your head rested on my lap.
As you mourned your children.
I squeezed you tightly into me,
As if that could make everything disappear
Like a band-aid on a gaping wound.
I slid down the wall and hit the floor
As I opened your email.
Wails of agony escaped my throat.
Racing to your house,
I prayed, bargained and shook like a leaf
Until I pulled up to your driveway.
I ran to your sister and embraced her sagging shoulders
While utterances of disbelief and grief
Broke through the piercing sobs.
Standing in your driveway that night,
The cold January wind was a welcomed distraction from the pain.
I was led into your home by a group in uniform,
As I looked around at what your life had been
Just an hour before.
Your shoes neatly placed by the deck door,
The pillows and blanket still sprawled out on your couch.
Pick up the pieces
Sweep them under the rug.
There’s plenty of room
Next to the other messes.
Don’t say I saved your life,
Then ask me to watch your death.
Realizing I was too late.
Pick up the pieces of my shattered life.
Glue them back together.
Pay no attention to the cracks and chips.
They only grow bigger each time,
Until cracks were all that I had left.
Leave the mess to me.
I always took care of it
Without a complaint.
I held your hand,
Certain I would never let it go.
Until, it was no longer my choice.
I opened the bathroom door,
With a pounding heart and soaked face.
My hands covered my mouth
As I caught my breath.
Staring at what was left.
You disappeared just as you had wanted.
The only trace left,
Scattered across the shower ceiling.
One perfect, tiny hole amidst the mess.
One large, jagged hole left in my soul.