after you've gone
It’s raining now, the night before we bury you.
I sit here in the quiet,
Just listening to the rain.
You must have done this countless times.
A single light burning and the endless sound of raindrops on the roof,
Alone with your thoughts.
I think of the ground at the cemetery,
How the rain will soften the earth into muddy puddles,
And bruise the petals of the convenience-store flowers
Left there by relatives.
And even though your funeral is indoors,
I’m mentally revising my choice of shoes
And reminding myself to bring a coat,
Just as you would have done.
I’m wearing red tomorrow, you know.
You’d have liked that.
When someone dies
It’s like you take a deep breath in
And hold it -
Through the planning,
Through the details,
Through the endless phone calls and sympathy cards,
Until you get to the other side of the funeral
And you can breathe out.
Holding that breath feels like bombs exploding in your chest
Like all you want to do is let it go
But you hold it in
Because not holding it is unthinkable.
When someone dies they send you flowers
And the house fills up with the smell of lilies and sorrow
And doors that we’re afraid to close.
Because wearing black
And closing doors
And breathing out
Means that you’re really gone.
I don’t want you to be gone.
There is no sense to any of this.
I sit here smothering in the scent of lilies
And I wonder if it’s raining where you are.
For Dad x
For Dad x
© mjc 01 November 2015