Loss of the Living

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

impressionable children.

A boy, similar in age

a mirror image.

A girl, ten years part

left behind.

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:



Forget fathers

Forget siblings

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.