Away but not so

I curl upon myself at night, because you are not here to wish me well.

I unbend at dawn but you are not here with a greeting that will soothe me throughout the day.

What is this?

How can a mind bear such a burden yet remain whole?

Things done away from prying eyes

They all wondered, whispering to themselves, “How does her garden grow?” Even the yapping tiny dogs with bad attitudes grew silent as they were walked past a refused to lift their legs by her dahlias.

The sunshine made her roses, caladiums, peonies and hollyhocks look as though were made of perfect plastic, not fragile carbon that would dry up and crumble to bits by Autumn’s end.

The perfection of her plot of goodness came from him.

The blood that dripped from his lips, as she cradled his head that hot afternoon, was soaked out of the shirt she wore into a bucket of water. Muttering to herself, eyes stinging with ache,  she poured that water in the soil by her door and around the trees.

She fertilized the soil with his ashes. She was supposed to toss them into the uncaring waves of the ocean, sending him back home but she couldn’t. After all the black-clad mourners drifted away, she changed into her most ragged and stained dress, in order to spread his  powdery and gritty remains over the dirt that supported Life and watched it come and go.

When the sun had set each day, she sat under the oak tree and wept. Her tears kept the lillies-of-the-valley growing for weeks longer than they should.

If you and I could hear the trees whispering among themselves, we would hear how they are telling the sea that he is with them. The sea replies that they cannot hear her, in the bathtub, shrieking for him to return.

She tends her garden and imagines he is there. In every leaf, in every flower.

People are jealous of her blooming pain yet she is envious of their rooted joy.

It was the future he mourned

She was sweet. She smelled sweet and tasted that way, too. Kisses like spun sugar.

But she left, suddenly. Over the long winter break, she hurriedly had to move away. Not having his number at his parent’s place, she left  a brief message for him with a friend, who forgot all about it until nearly Homecoming.

By then, the numbers had changed and the letters he sent came back, pristine and marked  ‘return to sender, addressee not at this location’.

He was not sure how he should feel. Abandoned, lost or forgotten-similar in tone but not the same, those varying shades of pitch.

She eventually slid to the back of his head, stood behind his thoughts, not in front of all of them.

Then one bright morning, he opened the paper and read that she died. A car crash, that ruined the life of her family, two times over.

He sat down.

He wept.

He wept for her. For those who survived her.  For his sadness, his frustration.

But selfishly, he shed copious tears over the hard and pointed fact that he would not have a chance at life with a woman like her. Instead, he would  be tied briefly to women who just need a man to validate them, women who were bored and he was a passing fancy, women who only wanted him to toil for their needs.

He would not have a life of sunshine, fresh flowers on the table, candles at night and nothing but stillness under starry skies. No laughter shared over breakfast, nor shared glances of contentment over the head of his first-born.

When she left, she took all of that with her. Leaving him with wet eyes and broken apart, ragged-edge dreams