|At the funeral home before we left for the cemetery|
It was bitter cold beneath the canvas tent,
flaps drawn against the wind
a few feet from my father
enclosed for all eternity.
Chins and noses tucked into scarves,
hands gloved, pocketed into wool and down -
no reaching out, no holding one another.
Our solace was inward, reserved
careful to balance our feelings
if we dared take them out at all -
the fragile connections our eyes made
were difficult enough.
Thank God for my son,
his shirtfront wet with tears -
grieved openly for us all.
I give thanks for my sisters, my mother
who were there for Dad in the end
as I'd fled far away, decades ago -
never bending to the need
to set things right.
I don't feel guilty,
not yet. I offer prayers for him -
hope that's enough. It's a beginning
for healing and a continued promise
my children will never doubt
I love them.
by Margaret Bednar, January 28, 2018
for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Get Listed: Landslide Month" words: solace, inward(ness), need, thanks.