Loss

I lost you
Before I even knew who you were
The memory is not real
But shaped by years without
The reality is a blur
Filled with doubt
The first pain I felt
The first blow I was dealt
Was grief
Disbelief

Who would you be today?
How different would my life be
If you had grown older loving me
You were my protector
My security
My father figure
You made everything better
With your presence

Sitting in your wood-paneled station wagon
I was too young to know what happened
I was left alone, without an explanation
Only an absence, an imagination
I imagined that you could see me
From somewhere out there
A child’s rationale of death, inconceivably

I imagined you knew all the bad things
Everything I had done
That you could see from the sky
Nothing now escaped your eyes
I couldn’t explain grief until I was older
Until I had words for these things
The feelings that loss brings

Grief comes at strange times
On the airplane, in checkout lines
At the DMV, when I’m empty
20 years later in therapy
It sneaks up on me

Maybe I grieve you all the time
Yet you are only a memory
A photograph I keep with me
A frog that jumps across my path
And I imagine that you see me
After all these years you laugh

Since you’re not here
I can make you anything I want
My loss grows flowers
I feel your love in the present

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