long afterward

he approaches with a tender smile
his wet eyes, lost to other thoughts
she takes him in her arms
wrapping his broad shoulders
she remembers a lifetime ago
holding his entire body in her hands
he is a man
he is a child
their quiet embrace, these silent words

his sadness, the foaming ocean
fear like predators circling
waiting to take away what is given over
his flushed face sinks into her shoulder
his tears pool in the bowl of her clavicle
the dry hot summer air freezes
she squeezes him tighter
I’m still here holding onto you
until you are ready to swim
someday I too will disappear into the middle of the ocean
though you are a strong swimmer now
you must let me float away
after I am gone

there will be sunsets,
and sunrises
where I hope to see your beautiful smile

wood nymph

wood nymph

my son’s good friend, lost his mother last night
she was an exceptionally brave woman

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15 thoughts on “long afterward

  1. I couldn’t read this post without tearing up, AM. Very visual, very tender the moment between mother and son. Loss is never easy at any age, but I think a young person probably takes it hardest because at that age death doesn’t make sense, because there’s so much to live for. And maybe the cruelest joke is that life does go on for the living, and nature seems not to notice our loss–the sun rises and sets, the moon crosses the sky, trees shed their leaves in the fall, the rains come again in the spring. It doesn’t seem possible that life can go on, but it does–as your poem so beautifully demonstrates. My condolences to you and to Max. DS

    Liked by 1 person

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