Christmas Queen

2009-12-21 18.09.50

My perspective is real wide now,
but my vision is like way narrow.
The word “Love” sounds like
when you shout into a bottomless well.
Well, maybe there’s a bottom,
but how would we know, ya know?

We keep seeing you everywhere.

I saw you a whole lot today in the
back of the TJ Maxx on Madison.
There were those peppermint-bark tins
that you used to get, I was gunna get Miss
a picture frame, but I couldn’t wait in the line.

You waited in every line for us.

I don’t know how ya did it.
You said every Christmas would be small,
but that was always a lie.

I don’t think you meant to lie.
I think you genuinely thought
you couldn’t pull it off some years,
but oh, man you did.

I don’t know what I’ll miss more,
your Christmas village magic –
or the thought of you waiting in all
those lines; a big smile on your face
when you began to realize … that year
was gunna be bigger than the last … again.

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We have the honor to remain

We got everything in order for you.

The disability benefits for your final months.
The life insurance so we can pay off the house.
The automatic payments for the energy bill.
The files are in order.
The mail’s been checked.
The cars are paid off.
The radiation is done.
The chemo is through.

No more doctor’s appointments.

We got everything in order for you,
“Right down to the urn.”

Can’t tell

I want to climb into the folds of your sawdusted, flannel shirts.
To feel your oil-stained hands pat my head.
To laugh with you real big, like nobody’s watching.
To run as fast as I can and look back and see you, smiling.
To fall into your arms when I’m scared of some big thunderstorm.
To leap in the field behind your house and have you sweep me back up.
To get hurt real bad just so you can tell me it’s gunna be alright.
To play cowboys and indians, with you pretending to be the bad guys.
To be the good guy caught in the bad guy’s grip.
To remember how poorly you pulled that off.
I want you to tell all your old stories. Of war and peace.
To fall asleep when you recite your poems.

In the years since, it’s been hard for people to tell where you end and He begins.
I still can’t tell the difference.