Loss of the Living
After William Wordsworth
One of the hardest things is grieving the loss of a person who is still alive.
–An impressionable child,
that lightly draws in its breath
and feels its life in every limb,
what should she know of death?
I knew a black-haired boy
he was eighteen years old.
With thick hair and skull he
vowed to forget his past.
He had a rustic, shaded aura:
His eyes were charcoal,
left to fire far too long.
His past revealed a burned heart
branded by an abandoned father
cauterized at the ripe age of three
his future forever shadowed.
Predating him were two
A boy, similar in age
a mirror image.
A girl, ten years part
Neither able to stitch together the lost boy.
But only one cared to try.
He’s not bringing the fire back.
Pile on the charcoal and try to light.
He rejects the flame the only way he knows how:
Erase the good with the bad.
“How many sisters and brothers, love”
“How many? Well, three in all” I said in a wondering gaze.
“And where are they? I pray you tell.”
I answered, “Three we are. Two full blood and myself half.”
“Half love, why half.”
Because I carry my entire childhood with me.
Because I grieve the loss of the living.
Because I fail to light the fire.