but our clock strikes one;
to us, it’s our son Steve roaming the house.
I slip outside to read on the porch –
he probably glides out too,
but in a ghostly fashion.
He talks to me outdoors more than in:
sudden visits, message by snake,
lizard, dragonfly, or cardinal.
I respond drinking in memories,
spitting out regrets.
Some days he insists on joy.
Tomorrow – I’m sure to find another
point in time imploding in on itself
like the daily death of a star.
The years gain on us;
sorrow turns sticky
back to sugar,
abrasive grains scraping against life itself.
In our house, missing him is a gap
we’re unable to fill with glue or grout.
Every corner of our yard
is a complex life sentence,
compounded by pauses,
apostrophes suspended on twigs
spliced onto heart-shaped trees
waving good-bye before undressing.
Every day is autumn –
yellow and red bathed in blue,
the lawn a funeral pyre ablaze.
Tears fall like willow leaves.
His hand takes mine as when a boy.
He steadies me. I drown
instead of bursting into flame.
Lynn Tait is an award-winning poet/photographer living in Sarnia, Ontario. Her poetry has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, Windsor Review, Vallum, FreeFall, Literary Review of Canada, and in over 100 Canadian and American anthologies. She is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society, and the League of Canadian Poets.