Updated: Sep 1
by Esther Besson
Once a week,
I dream of the tears
I will constantly shed when
I won’t have you in my life anymore;
I dread the heavy avocado pit that
I will carry inside when
I hear my father’s wails for you.
I fear the shattered pieces of our family that will remain after you leave. Everyday
I shove away thoughts of your last moment, fearing
I will be hundreds of miles away, when all
I want to do is be by your side. Sometimes
I close my eyes to feel the darkness that will eventually become your last sight. Sometimes
I slow my heartbeat to imagine those final fleeting seconds before the last one beats.
I wonder how our home will change. Will
I move into your room and still smell those happy days we used to have? Could
I sit on your bed, wrapped in your sheets, and watch your sunsets? How do
I even open the door to your final earthly home? If
I run to the ends of the earth, will
I stop heaven’s stairs taking you away?
Once upon a time,
You were the one who tied my shoes when I couldn’t reach my feet,
You waved me over to brush out the knots of your hair and my life,
You always welcomed my words in your eardrums, I remember
You loved the rambunctious noise of our family on Sunday mornings,
You adored the far-from-home shrieks of your descendants on the phone,
You hated the words “time to go” and always held the phone tight, never wanting to let go.
You are the first one I call when I make my entrance through the front door,
You are the last person I wave goodbye to with every exit from the back door.
You remind us every day you keep your bedroom door open, because
You always said to visit and talk anytime, even when we never did.
You stay in your bed to leave a chair free for a granddaughter who will never stay and talk.
You keep the century-long memories on your tongue as no one will take the key from
You and ask to unlock the chest of stories
You collected from running through a dozen lifetimes. How do
You always greet me with the warmest eyes and smiles when I try to ice everyone out? Why do
You always have time for me, even when I say I don’t have time for
You anymore? Before it’s time to go, can
You teach me how to love tomorrows before our last one comes and goes?
Let’s exchange keys: I get the one to your memories, and You get the key to all my apologies.